Service Solutions, the district’s custodial provider for almost a quarter of a century, continues to strongly support initiatives in Richland School District Two. Service Solutions has donated $15,000 to the PREMIER 100 Initiative. PREMIER 100 was created to broaden the diversity of male teachers of color in the classroom. It is the district’s goal to recruit and retain 100 minority male teachers by the year 2024.
Research shows less than 2 percent of teachers nationwide are minority males, all while the percentage of students of color continues to rise across the country. An audit conducted in 2019 revealed that only 6 percent of teachers in Richland Two were minority male teachers.
Shawn Williams is the district’s Senior Chief Human Resources Officer. “While Richland Two is above the national average and has improved to approximately 8.1 percent of minority male educators who are teaching, we know this barely scratches the surface and there is so much more work to be done to not only recruit but to develop and retain this important group of educators. Of the approximately 1,933 teachers in Richland Two, about 132 are minority male teachers,” said Williams.
The PREMIER 100 initiative seeks to provide all students with a minority teacher during their kindergarten through 12th grade experience, with the ultimate goal of having at least one minority male teacher. A June 2020 article in Edutopia magazine cites research that shows Black students who had a single Black teacher were 13 percent more likely to enroll in college and Black students who had two Black teachers were 32 percent more likely to enroll in college.
Vallen Emery, Eastern Division Vice President for Service Solutions says a strong education helps to build strong communities. “SSC Services for Education is thankful for the daily opportunity we have to support the communities in which we work and live. We are exceptionally grateful for the vision towards the future that Premier 100 inspires in furthering the strength of the Richland Two community,” said Emery.
The generous donation from Service Solutions is providing new teachers recruited as part of the PREMIER 100 initiative small monetary bonuses for entering the teaching profession and for renewing their teaching contracts. Service Solutions has pledged continued support of this initiative.