YCSD Awarded $70,000 Grant to Attract People of Color as Teachers

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Youngstown City School District has received a $70,000 grant to attract people of color to serve as teachers in the district.

Through the Ohio Department of Education’s Diversifying the Education Profession in Ohio grant, the school district will encourage students to pursue careers in education through the Y-Teach program and return as teachers.

The grant will also allow Youngstown City School District to attend job fairs as historically Black colleges and universities and providing ongoing support to teachers as they relocate to the area.

“We have excellent educators at YCSD,” said CEO Justin Jennings in a statement. “We just want to add educators of color to our district family. I think our scholars would benefit from seeing more role models in our schools who look like them.”

About 14% of the district’s teachers and administrative staff are people of color, compared to 87% of students. A 2017 study by the Center for American Progress found that a diverse workforce allows schools to provide more culturally relevant teaching and better understand the situations faced by students of color. 

The grant, said Youngstown City Schools chief of staff Jeremy Batchelor, aligned with Jennings’ 2030 YOUPrint Strategic Plan. The second goal of that plan is to create a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion and excellence. Last fall, Jennings established YCSD’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee which is charged with developing a plan to achieve that objective.

“It all fits together and aims for the same goal,” Batchelor said. “We’re working to diversify our educational workforce as another way to nurture, motivate and inspire our scholars to improve academically. It’s all about improving outcomes for our scholars to help them succeed not only in school but in college, career and life. That’s why we all do what we do.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.