The research is clear: ALL students benefit when there are diverse, high-quality teachers at the front of the classroom, and Massachusetts has taken significant strides to diversify its teaching workforce in recent years. As a result, teachers of color in Massachusetts are 2.1X more likely to be in their first three years of teaching than their white colleagues.
However, the alarming gap between declining student enrollment and an increase in staffing–along with the elimination of federal relief dollars–makes clear that widespread teacher layoffs are imminent. Without a fix to the state's current "last in, first out" layoff policy, all work done to diversify our teaching workforce will unravel if we don’t act now!
Join us in calling on the Education Committee Chairpersons Lewis and Garlick to vote IN FAVOR of H.583/S.340: An Act So All Students Thrive before the March 15 Committee extension deadline. If passed, this bill will weigh additional measures of teacher effectiveness, background, culture, and identity–in addition to length of service–when making layoff decisions. Changing our current layoff policy will help Massachusetts narrow the gap between the number of students of color and teachers who are representative of them, ensuring that more highly skilled teachers of ALL races work in schools with historically underserved students.
Take action today by sending a message to Education Committee Chairpersons, Representative Denise Garlick and Senator Jason Lewis, asking them to support H.583/S.340. It’s time we improve on the status quo of seniority-based teacher layoff policies, so all students can thrive!