s the nation’s Latino student population continues to grow, a nonprofit advocacy group this week called for a commitment to increasing the numbers of Latino teachers and administrators in the nation’s schools and removing the barriers that keep prospective educators from pursuing college degrees.
“We need a seat at the table to get into the room where decisions are being made,” Amanda Fernandez, president and CEO of Latinos for Education, said at the organization’s first national summit, held Wednesday and Thursday.
Including Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa and Rhode Island Commissioner of Education Angelica Infante-Green, the event was a chance to feature leaders “who showed up for Latinos during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Feliza Ortiz-Licon, the group’s chief policy and advocacy officer. “We want people to see that we are not alone in our fight for educational equity.”
The virtual conversations, including regional events in Massachusetts and Texas, focused on the barriers that families face in accessing quality education opportunities for their children as well as the contributions Latino educators make in their school communities.
“Teachers want to work in a place where their voice is valued,” said Infante-Green, noting her state’s efforts to pay signing bonuses to bilingual teachers and to place them in schools together so they don’t feel isolated.
The State of Latino Education event comes after a period in which Latinos “didn’t have a voice or representation at the federal level,” Fernandez said, referring to the Trump administration. In addition, the pandemic has disproportionately impacted the Latino community and pulled back “this rug where we used to sweep all the inequities,” Infante-Green added. Along with the national and state-level summits, the organization released a report outlining multiple obstacles facing Latino students from early childhood through the post-secondary years.
Read the full article about Latino educators by Linda Jacobson at The 74.
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