Maryland Teachers Remain Predominantly White, According to MSDE Data

In Maryland, the majority of teachers are still white, based on recent data from the state Department of Education. Advocates are optimistic that new laws may bring about change.

Figures set to be discussed at the state Board of Education show that 68% of teachers in the 2023-24 school year are white, with 20% Black and 5% Latino or Asian.

Over the past five school years, the average percentage of white teachers in Maryland was 70%, while 19% were Black and 4% were Latino or Asian, according to state data.

However, the racial distribution of students in classrooms was notably different during the same period: white students at 34%; Black students at 30%; Latino students at 21%; and Asian students at 7%, as per the department’s report.

Prince George’s County and Baltimore City have the highest percentages of teachers of color this year at 79% and 61%, respectively, making them the majority Black jurisdictions in the state. Montgomery County, the largest school system, has 31% teachers of color, just below the state average of 32%.

Cheryl Bost, president of the Maryland State Education Association, emphasized the importance of a diverse teaching workforce for students. Teachers of color sometimes carry additional responsibilities outside their classrooms, as highlighted in a 2022 teacher’s workforce report.

Progress is anticipated later this year following the passage of last year’s Educator Shortage Reduction Act in Maryland, which provides support for eligible college students pursuing education degrees.

Recent legislation signed by Gov. Wes Moore includes House Bill 75 and Senate Bill 377, allowing community college students in education programs to receive stipends starting in the 2024-25 school year.

The stipend rollout was delayed by a year due to funding availability, with the money sourced from a teacher retention fund administered by the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

Sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Nancy King and Del. Eric Ebersole, the legislation aims to boost teacher diversity and create alternative pathways into the teaching profession.

Applicants are required to have a minimum 3.0 GPA on their most recent degree but are not mandated to take Praxis tests, which can cost $300 each.

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