It’s a struggle to find non-white teachers because fewer people are going into teaching.

In two weeks, schools across our area will be back in session. Throughout the country, school officials have been struggling to hire a more diverse group of teachers.

It’s a struggle to find non-white teachers because fewer people are going into teaching.

A recent United States Department of Education survey found that 82 percent of teachers identified as white. Fifteen years ago, things weren’t much different as 84 percent identified as white back then.

Seventy-five percent of teachers in the Rochester City School District, the largest district in the area, identify as white and 25 percent are either black or Latino, while student demographics show the opposite.

Why is it important to have a diverse group of teachers? There have been studies done on this.

Researchers found that students with a teacher of the same race as them performed better on tests, earned higher grades, and had higher educational expectations for themselves.

After Hurricane Maria, RCSD took in an influx of Spanish speaking students which pushed officials to focus on hiring bilingual teachers.

While RCSD and many others in our area fall short of teacher diversity, teachers in the school district this year will begin a new training to help teachers become more empathetic and sensitive.

District officials will continue to hire teachers throughout the school year. Their goal is to continue securing a diverse and certified teacher population. Officials plan to continue making visits to historically black colleges and Puerto Rico.