A partnership between the Tom Joyner Foundation and the National Education Association (NEA) has sparked the interest of education majors and minors on college campuses across the country.
Joyner announced that $700,000 will be donated to the NEA in order to encourage minority teachers to get certified and begin teaching minority children in urban, suburban, and rural public schools.
There has been a significant gap between students matriculating with the intentions of becoming teachers and graduates who go on to become teachers. The average person graduates and moves on to assume a job in a different field, or they move on to jobs in high income neighborhoods with better pay.
“The fact is that I want to make money, and teaching in the ghetto is not safe and honestly does not pay enough,” said Bernie Welch an education major at Clark Atlanta University, in Atlanta GA.
Joyner hopes that by offering financial assistance along with certification more graduates will go on to be certified teachers and teach minority children.
The NEA reports that the program is designed to increase the number of fully-certified teachers around the country. The program is only offered at Historically Black Colleges and University (HBCUs) around the nation.
The seven schools included are: Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA; Bowie State University, Bowie MD; Jackson State University, Jackson, MS; Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, NC; Cheney State University, Cheney, PA; Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN; and Harris Stowe State College, St. Louis, MO.
The program is an attempt to increase the value of a public school education for minorities across the nation. Here in the nation’s capital, we have been struggling with this concept for years and the Tom Joyner Foundation has stepped up to provide aid not only to the teachers, but to the students as well.
Vonetta Sowell is an education major from Columbus, OH, who is currently matriculating at Bowie State University, in Bowie MD.
“Most kids of color are not getting a fair chance at a good education. I agree that the $700,000 will help where it can, but if driven teachers like me do not get a chance to actually see the money, I do not think it will deter us from getting verified and teaching minorities.”
Joyner told the NEA that he is excited to be working with them and he wants to ensure that in the future there will be a surplus of teachers therefore enhancing the education of the students and the daily life of the teachers.