The EDUCATORS for America Act
Jack Reed, Senior US Senator of Rhode Island • Principal Leadership Article
Now more than ever, the nation’s outlook for the future is tied to the strength of the education profession. Our economic prosperity, the health of our democracy and civic society, and our ability to meet the challenges of climate change and the information age depend on our students having access to well-prepared and supported educators who reflect the diversity of the students they serve.
The gap between the demographic makeup of the student body and the education profession is widening. Despite the fact that over 50% of students are people of color and that multiple studies have shown that racial diversity among educators and peers can provide significant benefits to students, a 2016 U.S. Department of Education report showed that 82% of public school teachers identified as white, a figure that had barely changed since 2000. That same year, 22% of public school principals were individuals of color, including 11% who identified as Black and 8% who identified as Hispanic.
Today, the profession faces great uncertainty. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 270,000 teachers are expected to leave the field each year between 2016 and 2026. And a December 2021 survey by NASSP found that job satisfaction among school leaders is at an ultimate low, with nearly 4 out of 10 principals (38%) expecting to leave the profession in the next three years.