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Teacher Diversity in Pennsylvania from 2013-14 to 2019-20

As RFA documented in Patching the Leaky Pipeline, teachers of color (TOCs) are important for all students and particularly for students of color (SOCs). Yet, despite promising statewide initiatives to improve teacher diversity, there is dearth of TOCs in Pennsylvania.

There is no regular public reporting of teacher race/ethnicity in Pennsylvania. However, in collaboration with WHYY, RFA received seven years of teacher race/ethnicity and gender data from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, dating from the 2013-14 through 2019-20 school years. RFA cleaned this data and merged it with student data to calculate the percentages of teachers and students by race/ethnicity and gender at the state, county, district, and school levels for all Pennsylvania public schools.

The data are available for download here:

The attached report presents the findings of RFA’s examination of this new data, including that;

  • From 2013-14 to 2019-20, the percent of TOCs in Pennsylvania only increased from 5.4% to 6.0%, while the percent of SOCs increased from 30.5% to 35.8%. In 2019-20, the share of SOCs in PA was 6.0 times greater than the share of TOCs, a disparity that is more than twice the national average.
  • In 2019-20, 50% of Pennsylvania’s public schools and 37% of all school districts only employed white teachers.
  • There were 138 school districts and 1,078 of PA’s public schools that had zero TOCs over any of the last seven school years. In these schools, an average of 15% of students were SOCs.

The report also examines the data in Philadelphia, which employs over half the state’s TOCs despite enrolling only 27% of the state’s SOCs, and subgroups of teachers by full-time and part-time status, subject, and grade. Finally, we include tables in the Appendix that identify schools and school districts across the state that employ high and low rates of TOCs relative to their share of SOCs.