CHICAGO (WLS) -- Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools announced the "Teach Chicago Tomorrow" initiative Tuesday.
As part of the initiative, CPS is setting a long-term goal to hire more than 500 CPS grads annually. The district currently hires about 140 CPS graduates as teachers each year.
"Teach Chicago Tomorrow will build a new network of teachers who look like Chicago kids, come from Chicago communities, and are invested in Chicago neighborhoods," said Mayor Lightfoot. "This is a top priority for our schools and underscores our deep commitment to equity across the district. Although CPS has been working diligently to boost the number of African American and Latinx teachers, there is still a wide gap between the race and ethnicity of students and teachers, as existing recruitment pathways simply aren't producing enough high-quality teachers of color. We must build our own pathways through smart strategies that tap into an already-interested and invested talent pool."
Most of the new teachers will be African-American or Latinx, the district said.
"As a district serving primarily students of color, one of the best ways we can work toward a more diverse workforce is providing CPS students who aspire to be a teacher with the structured support they need to realize that dream," said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. "Hiring a more diverse workforce is a critical goal in the District's Five Year Vision and numerous research studies have found that a diverse teacher workforce leads to positive student outcomes. As a CPS grad who became a teacher, I am thrilled to launch this critical initiative as we work to inspire the next generation of teachers."
The initiative includes a partnership between CPS, City Colleges of Chicago and Illinois State University, where students can earn their teaching credentials.
For more information, visit www.cps.edu/teachtomorrow.