Minnesota lawmakers in the House reviewed a key report and testimony from a variety of stakeholders on racial justice in education last week.
A series of committee hearings culminated Wednesday with a hearing on the Increase Teachers of Color Act (ITCA), by Rep. Hodan Hassan (DFL-Minneapolis). HF 217 gathered overwhelming support and is currently being improved and strengthened by the authors and outside organizations.
Continuing the conversation of previous weeks, the House Education Policy Committee revisited the topic of racism in education on Monday. Specifically, lawmakers heard perspectives from the public on the Select Committee on Racial Justice (SCRJ) Final Report.
This lengthy report investigates and defines the widespread impact of racial inequities in Minnesota and serves as a key piece of literature this legislative session. Testimony in support of this report included commentary by experts, students, organizers and even retired Supreme Court Justice Alan Page.
The clear consensus was that hard dollars must be spent to invest in the lives and education of BIPOC children and improve the quality and accessibility of the pedagogy for all students state-wide.
The following day, the House Education Finance Committee heard from metro area superintendents, principals and the BARR Center on their specific action plans to address inequity in schools.
Metro superintendents referred to the “reimagine education” project they’ve been involved with for several year, working together more closely than ever to improve recruitment and retention of BIPOC teachers, build cultural inclusivity in their schools and develop a cultural competence strategy for their educators.
The BARR Center, a national organization that takes a relationship building and adult behavioral change approach to education reform, described their tangible efforts.