Grant to help bring more minority teachers to classrooms

By  | 

WATERLOO, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- A new grant will help Waterloo schools increase the number of minority teachers in the classroom.

Waterloo, Iowa school district logo.

The R.J. McElroy Trust presented a $300,000 grant to the University of Northern Iowa. That will help implement something called the Teach Waterloo Project in the Waterloo School District.

This money will allow Waterloo schools behavior interventionalists and paraeducators that are minorities to go to UNI to study to get their Bachelors of Arts degree and become elementary teachers. Since they are already working full time in the district, these individuals will have a specialized class schedule and study over about two years.

The UNI Foundation says research shows when a student has a teacher that matches their ethnicity, they tend to learn better. Dr. Bev Smith, associate superintendent for human resources and equity, told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier that right now the district is serving 52 percent minority students, and the teaching staff is less than 8 percent minority.

This is a 3-year grant. The UNI Foundation says it will see how the first years go to determine if there is room for expansion.