Winfield Champions Senate Bill 379
An Act Concerning the Recommendations of the Minority Teacher Recruitment Task Force Passes Unanimously
Senator Gary Winfield (D-New Haven) today praised the unanimous passage of Senate Bill 379, An Act Concerning the Recommendations of the Minority Teacher Recruitment Task Force.
Senator Winfield served as chairman of the task force, which was established by the legislature in 2015 to study and develop strategies to increase and improve the recruitment, preparation and retention of minority teachers.
The legislation was first passed by the Education Committee, on which Senator Winfield serves as Vice Chairman, and where he championed the bill—co-sponsored by twenty legislators.
“I am extremely pleased that this legislation passed with unanimous bipartisan support in the Senate. This comes down to improving both the education of our students and attracting more young people, particularly minority students, to the education profession,” said Sen. Winfield. “Our task force has learned something important in our effort to find out how we can encourage more minority students to become teachers—and what we learned is that the state doesn’t really have data on minority teacher recruitment. This bill will extend the term of the task force so that we can gather the data needed to advance our goal of ensuring that teachers in our classrooms more closely mirror the students in our schools and that we are attracting and selecting our teachers from a wide and diverse pool of qualified candidates.”
Senate Bill 379 delays the termination of the minority teacher recruitment task force; establishes the Minority Teacher Recruitment Policy Oversight Council within the Department of Education; and requires the Department of Education to conduct an annual survey of students regarding the effectiveness of minority teacher recruitment programs in the state.
Senator Winfield said the survey is a critical aspect of this legislation, while speaking in support of the bill on the Senate floor, prior to its passage.
“The only way we knew if students in minority recruitment programs were successful was by being told by the people running the programs that they were. We’ve decided to instate and utilize a survey to find out from those who are supposed to be benefitting from the program whether or not they found it to be useful or not,” said Sen. Winfield.
Following the vote, Senator Winfield applauded the Education Committee for its dedication to crafting and passing the legislation.
“This was a bipartisan effort, and I am proud that was reflected in the Senate’s bipartisan vote,” said Sen. Winfield.