The Jacksonville Public Education Fund (JPEF) and the University of North Florida (UNF) each received a $150,000 donation from the Michael Ward and Jennifer Glock Foundation to support the JPEF initiative to recruit and retain 1,000 diverse male teachers by 2025, bringing the total amount of JPEF funds raised for the effort to $1 million. The UNF donation will go to the Urban Education Scholarship Fund, a JPEF partner program that supports the local diverse teacher pipeline.
“This is a critical initiative for the University because we know there is great need for more educators from underrepresented groups," said Dr. Jennifer Kane, UNF College of Education and Human Services interim dean. “Students need to see educators who look like them and have shared experiences for connecting inside and outside the classroom.”
Research has shown that all students benefit from having diverse teachers as role models. Students of color are disadvantaged by a lack of teacher diversity as they are more likely to be seen as discipline problems and less likely to qualify for gifted and talented programs.
JPEF’s original research shows Black and Latino male teachers make up less than 10% of teachers in Duval County Public Schools, while Black and Latino students make up about 60% of the student body. The Duval County numbers mirror those across the country, where the shortage of diverse male teachers is also acute.
JPEF announced the 1,000 by 2025 initiative last year and has been working with partners including Duval County Public Schools and the University of North Florida to establish a collective impact model that can be adapted nationwide for recruiting, retaining, and supporting Black and Latino male teachers.
The donation will allow JPEF to provide funding to local programs designed to recruit, retain, and support diverse male teachers.
“We are grateful for the Michael Ward and Jennifer Glock Foundation’s support and the boost it gives the 1,000 by 2025 initiative,” said JPEF President Rachel Tutwiler Fortune. “We will be using it to provide grants to programs that can show their impact on recruiting and retaining Black and brown male teachers. We know the positive impact having diverse teachers has on students and we are working as a community to create a welcoming, caring environment for those educators.”
The Ward donation is the latest of several designated for the 1,000 by 2025 initiative. Earlier this year, JPEF received a grant from NewSchools Venture Fund and most recently received funding from the Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund.
“In total, we’ve received $1 million toward this initiative,” said Fortune. “The financial support is indicative of the national and community support toward ensuring all students, and especially our students of color have qualified, effective teachers who look like them.”