New funding guidance to diversify the educator workforce

A Funding Guide to More Diverse Schools in California 2022–23, released by the Center for the Transformation of Schools at the University of California, Los Angeles, highlights allocations and grants available to individual teachers as well as local educational agencies.

The guide provides application requirements, deadlines, allocation amounts and descriptions of how funds can best be utilized to help LEAs hire and retain a diverse staff.

Educator diversity has long been shown to improve outcomes for students of all races and ethnicities — but particularly for students of color, who see improved reading and math test scores, improved graduation rates and increases in aspirations to attend college.

“Adequately addressing the needs of our highly diverse K-12 population will require not only hiring educators of diverse backgrounds but also creating welcoming and affirming spaces and environments that can accommodate, sustain, and uplift our students and school communities,” researchers wrote. “This guide spotlights how funding can be used to prioritize efforts to increase the diversity of the educator workforce and humanize the teaching profession.”

The guide consists of two sections. Section one highlights allocations and grants for individual applicants (e.g., prospective teachers, teacher candidates or current teachers).

For instance, students currently enrolled in a professional preparation program approved by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing and working towards earning their preliminary teaching or pupil personnel services credential can apply for the Golden State Teacher Grant Program, which provides up to $20,000 per candidate through June 2026 or until funds are exhausted.

Because awardees must commit to teaching for four years in a California Priority School — a school in which more than 55 percent of pupils classified as English learners, eligible for free or reduced-price meals, or are current foster youth — the funding can help to both ease financial barriers to entering the profession for diverse teacher candidates and incentivize teaching in priority schools.

Section two of the guide outlines allocations and grants for organizational entities (e.g., school districts and county offices of education).

LEAs in partnership with a local community college district can apply for the Golden State Pathways Program, which allocates $500 million available for expenditure or encumbrance until June 30, 2029, to high-priority LEAs that meet any of the following criteria:

  • Fifty percent or more unduplicated pupils (English learners, students from low-income families, and youth in the foster care system)
  • Higher than state average dropout rate
  • Higher than state average suspension and expulsion rates
  • Lower than state average rate of A-G completion

“Utilizing these grants to develop ’grow your own’ teacher development programs in communities with high-need districts can recruit and develop more diverse educators from within their own community,” according to researchers. “Golden State Pathways Program prioritizes a few general pathways: education, computer science, health care and climate resilience involving science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

Additional funding opportunities are available in the full guide.