Parents’ Rights Group Reportedly Slams Plan To ‘Boost Teacher Diversity’ As ‘Discriminatory’ And ‘Wrong’

(Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

Dana Abizaid Contributor
Font Size:

A parents’ rights group in Maryland has leveled criticism against a Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) initiative created to “boost teacher diversity,” WJAR reported Tuesday.

Last month BCPS launched the “Growing Our Own” scholarship program designed to seek out, hire and keep “BIPOC [Black, indigenous, people of color]” science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teachers, according to WJAR.

Parents’ Defending Education (PDE) reportedly secured and shared a BCPS notice on the program exclusively with Crisis in the Classroom (CITC). The notice said the $1 million program was initiated to combat the “major teacher shortage” BCPS presently faces. (RELATED: University Faces Civil Rights Complaint For Race-Based Scholarship Programs)

Scholarship awardees will receive tuition, books and financial help with fees associated with completing their education, the notice added.

“Every child deserves to grow up with role models and mentors who look like them,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski stated in a BCPS press release. “Diversity is our strength in Baltimore County and the new recruitment scholarship will support students from across the county and make our school system stronger and more vibrant.”

PDE investigative fellow Alex Nester told CITC such policies are “overtly discriminatory” and emphasize “race and gender politics” at the expense of education, WJAR reported.

“Any time that you’re prioritizing any other quality other than just the best and brightest teachers, then you might be looking past teachers that are really good fits for the district, but because they aren’t a certain race or a certain, then they’re being passed over,” Nester also reportedly told CITC. “And that’s wrong.”

40.4% of the district’s students are black and 32.8% white, while white teachers comprise 55.2% of all district teachers compared to 34.9% black, the BCPS press release stated.