1) More teachers of color are needed to help close persistent gaps and meet workforce demands.
Given Minnesota’s Higher Education Attainment Goal, World’s Best Workforce legislation, and the Governor’s goal of increasing state employees of color to 20%, more diverse teachers are needed to help reach these goals.
Minnesota’s opportunity and achievement gaps are widely known to be some of the largest gaps in the country. For example, students who are of color and American Indian represent 21% of 54,255 total students in 2015 who graduated in 4 years, but they are 46% of all dropouts (3,413) and 48% of all who stay longer in high school (7,002).1
Research has shown that teachers of color positively impact student achievement, especially for students of color2.
However, despite modest state investments in the past, teachers who are of color and American Indian (2,211) still represent only 3.8% of all teachers in the state, while students of who are of color and American Indian represent 30% of the state’s increasingly diverse population in rural, suburban and urban communities.3
Therefore, systemic change and large increases in state investments are needed now to meet workforce demands by significantly increasing the numbers of teachers of color in Minnesota who are crucial to closing the gaps.
2) Investing to increase teachers of color and American Indian teachers is a key strategy for closing Minnesota’s gaps that will significantly strengthen and grow the state and national economy.
According to a 2015 analysis by the Alliance for Excellent Education4, if the graduation rate for the Class of 2013 in MN was 90% instead of 80% (i.e., 6,000 more graduates), a significant economic impact would have included:
Annual state gross product increase of $100 million State/local tax revenue increase of $11 million
750 new jobs created
Annual earnings increase $78 million
Home sales increase $200 million, and auto sales increase $7.9 million
According to McKinsey & Company, achievement gaps in the U.S. “underscore the staggering economic and social cost of underutilized human potential.” They estimated through detailed analysis that the U.S. economy was “deprived of as much as $2.3 trillion in economic output in 2008” because of the achievement gap, and that “the gap imposes a higher recurring annual economic cost on the US economy than the current  recession does.”5
3) Investing in education will save MN taxpayers millions of $ in dealing with crime and health care.
According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, “The nation could save as much as $18.5 billion in annual crime costs if the high school male graduation rate increased by only 5 percentage points.”6
According to the Center on Sentencing and Corrections, in FY2010 “the total cost of Minnesota’s prisons—to incarcerate an average daily population of 9,557—was $395.3 million,” or $41,364 per inmate for one year.7
Billions are spent treating preventable chronic illnesses. Research has shown that “the more schooling people
have the better their health is likely to be....The less schooling people have, the higher their levels of risky health behaviors such as smoking, being overweight, or having a low level of physical activity.”8
1 State Report Card.
2 Educator Policy Innovation Center. (2016). Smart Solutions to Minnesota’s Teacher Shortage: Developing and Sustaining a Diverse and Valued Educator Workforce. Education Minnesota. Retention-Report.pdf
3 Minnesota Department of Education. (2015). Teacher Supply and Demand Report.
4 See interactive data tool at
5 Auguste, B., Hancock, B. and M. Laboissière. (2009, June). “The economic cost of the US education gap.”
6 Alliance for Excellent Education. (2013, September). Saving Futures, Saving Dollars: The Impact of Education on Crime Reduction and Earnings.
7 Center on Sentencing and Corrections. (2012, July). “The Price of Prisons |Minnesota: What Incarceration Costs Taxpayers”. Vera Institute of
Freudenberg N, Ruglis J. “Reframing school dropout as a public health issue.” Preventing Chronic Disease 2007;4(4).
Economic Benefits from Increasing Teachers of Color & American Indian Teachers in Minnesota
Compiled by the Coalition to Increase Teachers of Color and American Indian Teachers in MN with assistance from the RIGS Education Research Circle at the University of Minnesota