Jacksonville Public Education Fund receives national funding for teacher diversity Initiative

The NewSchools Venture Fund has invested $200,000 to help close the teacher diversity gap.

Diverse Teacher Pointing to a board


Amy Henderson
(404) 387-0624

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., December 1, 2021 - The Jacksonville Public Education Fund’s (JPEF) commitment to help recruit and retain 1,000 diverse male educators by 2025 to help close the teacher diversity gap received national funding with an investment from the NewSchools Venture Fund.

JPEF’s original research in 2021 showed Black and Hispanic male teachers made up less than 10% of teachers in Duval County Public Schools, while Black and Hispanic 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. 

Research has shown that all students benefit from having diverse teachers as role models. Students of color are disadvantaged by 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.

NewSchools awarded JPEF a $200,000 grant to help fund the initiative to recruit and retain 1,000 diverse male teachers by 2025, an increase of at least 12% annually.

NewSchools seeks out organizations that recruit and support the growth of Black and Hispanic teachers, leaders, and advocates and is helping education organizations adopt inclusive, equitable practices that advance the ultimate goal of improving the life outcomes of children. It also provides funding and management assistance to innovators leading early-stage organizations that are diversifying the PreK-12 education workforce. 

“For years, research has shown that teachers are role models, and all students benefit when they see diversity among their teachers,” said JPEF President Rachael Tutwiler Fortune. “With the support of NewSchools and our partners in the Duval County community, we are able to address the diversity gap and improve student outcomes and promote education equity.”

The initiative will employ innovative strategies such as providing scholarships funded by local philanthropy to partner universities and providing financial incentives to faith-based partners, male teacher influencers, and peer mentors to help recruit and retain teachers. 

In this effort, JPEF is partnering with Duval County Public Schools, the University of North Florida College of Education and Human Services, and education partners such as Teach for America and City Year, as well as local and regional historically black colleges and universities. 

Contact Amy Henderson, Director of Marketing & Communications, at (404) 387-0624 or amy@jaxpef.org for more information. 

About the Jacksonville Public Education Fund

The Jacksonville Public Education Fund is an independent think-and-do tank that believes in the potential of all students. We work tirelessly to close the opportunity gap for low-income students and students of color. We convene educators, school system leaders, and the community to pilot and help scale evidence-based solutions that advance school quality in Duval County. For more information: www.jaxpef.org