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Latinx Education Collaborative and Urban Education Research Center Release Report on Teacher Diversity in Kansas City Metro

Media Contact:
Edgar José Palacios
(305) 906-0644

Kansas City, MO; February 5, 2021: A report released today from Latinx Education Collaboration (LEC), “Landscape Analysis: Teachers of Color in Kansas City” was commissioned by the nonprofit organization to further understand the critical state of diversity among students and teachers in elementary and secondary education.

A research team at the Urban Education Research Center (UERC) of University of Missouri-Kansas City used 2019 teacher self-reported data provided by the Kansas State Department of Education and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to determine
the outcome of the report.

“Representation matters. Students have better educational outcomes when they see themselves reflected in the teachers that serve them. In fact, every student benefits from a diverse teacher workforce,” says Edgar Palacios, Founder and CEO of LEC. In the Kansas City metropolitan area, there are more than one hundred public schools. Approximately one third of these schools do not have at least one teacher of color in the building. “I wonder what my opportunities would be like today if I had had more teachers of color. I don’t know. But we’ll use the findings from this report to hone LECs efforts in educating our students and recruiting and supporting Black and Brown education
professionals,” adds Palacios.

Jackson County and Wyandotte County —together employ the largest number of Latinx teachers as their combined share of the total percentage of Latinx teachers in Kansas City is 87%. Jackson County employs 174 Latinx teachers, which is 67% of the total Latinx teacher population. Wyandotte County employs 54 Latinx teachers (21%). Although efforts are being made locally to recruit more teachers of color, retention rates are not
keeping the pace with the growing number of students of color. The cause for high turnover notes insufficient preparation, lack of in-school and out-of-school supports and mentoring, poor teaching conditions, additional student mentoring burdens and instability in the high-need schools in which they teach. The analysis shows the achievement gap among students of color directly correlates with an inability to connect with their instructor.

Additional reports show when students of color are taught by teachers of color, their math and reading scores are more likely to improve (Egalite et al., 2015). The students are more likely to graduate from high school and aspire to go to college (Gershenson et al., 2017). Students of
color and white students are more likely to have positive perceptions of their teachers of color, including feeling cared for and academically challenged (Cherng & Halpin, 2016).

A copy of the report can be accessed at For more information or how to support the Latinx Education Collaborative, call (305) 906 0644 or visit

About Latinx Education Collaborative
The Latinx Education Collaborative (LEC) is a non-profit, 501 (c) 3 organization based in Kansas City, MO. The LEC works on increasing the representation of Latinx education professionals in K- 12 through its three strategic objectives: retention, pathway exposure, and recruitment support.

About Urban Education Research Center
The Urban Education Research Center (UERC) is a research and evaluation center within the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Education. The center works collaboratively within the School of Education, across the university and in conjunction with local partners
and communities. Collaborators and partners include educational leaders, educators, researchers, community leaders, advocacy groups, industries and service organizations throughout the Greater Kansas City area.


Community Submitted Post News Press & Media

Latinx Education Collaborative announces 2020 Latinx Educator Award Winners


Kansas City, MO – The Latinx Education Collaborative (LEC) is pleased to announce the award winners of the 2020 Latinx Educator Awards:

Aspiring Educator of the Year | Dallanary Castor-Lara,
Student, Kansas City Kansas Public Schools

Future Educator of the Year | Angel Salinas-Villa,
Student, University of Kansas

School Volunteer of the Year | Angelique Rodriguez-Gunion, Parent Volunteer,
Shawnee Mission School District

Administrator of the Year | Melissa Funaro, Assistant Director of Early Learning and Inclusion
UICS Metro Child & Family Development Center

Educator of the Year | Evonne Medrano, 4th Grade Online Academy Teacher,
Lee’s Summit R-7 School District

Community Partner of the Year | The Learning Club

Chair’s Award | Randy Lopez, Board President,
Kansas City Kansas Public Schools

“The LEC congratulates this year’s award winners! It is important that we recognize and highlight the impact that these current and future educators make in our community,” states Edgar José Palacios, President & CEO. “I look forward to seeing them continue to thrive in the field of education and change the lives of our students for the better for years to come.”


About Latinx Education Collaborative
The Latinx Education Collaborative (LEC) is a non-profit, 501 (c) 3 organization based in Kansas City, MO. The LEC works on increasing Latinx education professionals’ representation in K-12 through its three
strategic objectives: retention, pathway exposure, and recruitment support.

Edgar José Palacios
Latinx Education Collaborative
2819 E. 10th St.
Kansas City, MO 64127
Office: (305) 906-0644

Copyright © 2020 Latinx Education Collaborative All Rights Reserved.

Community Submitted Post

Hispanic Development Fund Family College Prep Materials

The HDF Programs Team has created the attached Family College Prep resources to share with students, families, educators, and the larger community to ensure our community has access to high quality college prep materials and the tools they need to reach their post-secondary goals. These bilingual tools are critical due to the learning disruptions caused by COVID-19.

These resources are a cornerstone of the new HDF Family College Prep Program (FCPP). The FCPP was designed and developed to build upon the success of the HDF Scholarship Program with the objective to close the 17-point college degree attainment gap that exists for Kansas City Hispanic adults. In partnership with high schools on both sides of the state line, along with local college partners, the FCPP serves Hispanic and ALL students and families attending our partner high schools by providing high quality ACT Test Prep, one-on-one college advising, family college prep events, scholarship workshops, and family college campus tours.

HDF is incredibly grateful to the H&R Block Foundation and our 12 FCPP college partners (listed on page 28 of the Playbook) for their support in making this program possible. For additional information on the FCPP, email

We encourage you to share the attached FCPP resources with any students, families, or educators who might benefit from these tools. Additionally, please reach out to the HDF Programs Team with any college-related questions. Please direct questions in Spanish to Alejandra Perez at or 816-589-0442. For questions in English, students and families can reach out to Alejandra or myself. These resources can also be downloaded directly at

HDF College Playbook

  • Bilingual, all-in-one resource that is designed to help Kansas City Hispanic students and families maximize their financial aid opportunities, successfully navigate the college-going process, and ultimately identify and attend the “right fit” college.
  • The Playbook is designed to be used as an online resource, as it contains live links to FAFSA, private scholarship opportunities, and college scholarship pages.

HDF Financial Aid Presentation (English)
HDF Financial Aid Presentation (Spanish)

  • English and Spanish Financial Aid Presentation that walks students and families through the financial aid process.

HDF Financial Aid Worksheet (English & Spanish)

  • English and Spanish Financial Aid Worksheet to be used to analyze college financial aid awards.

Resource for DACA & Undocumented Students

  • HDF recommended colleges, universities, and scholarship organizations who provide the best financial aid opportunities and support for DACA & Undocumented students.
Community Submitted Post

TNTP Fellow Nominations are Open

Help us find the next generation of great teachers.

Applications just opened for TNTP’s Teaching Fellows programs, which help talented people become exceptional teachers. Our Fellows come from all walks of life and learn to teach critical subjects like math and special education through immersive, practice-based training and coaching.

We’re looking for accomplished professionals, recent college graduates, and graduating seniors who want to earn their teaching certification next summer and begin teaching next fall in Baltimore, Indianapolis, and New Orleans.

Know someone who’d be a good fit? Take 30 seconds to nominate them, and we’ll encourage them to apply.

P.S.: For every one of your nominees who begins training as a Teaching Fellow, you’ll earn an automatic entry in a raffle to win $1,000. 

Thanks for encouraging extraordinary people to bring their talents to the classroom! 

Community Submitted Post

Join TFA in Supporting KC Students and Teachers

Teach For America Kansas City believes that all children deserve the opportunity to attain an excellent education and to do so, we recruit and
support remarkable leaders to serve as excellent educators. With this difficult start to the school year, we want to honor, recognize, and elevate
our Kansas City educator All-Stars through a social distanced Drive-In event. There will be great food (by all minority owned businesses), live music, a short program honoring our educators, and a movie to cap off the evening. We’re asking you to stand with us as we support our
front line educators, our All-Stars, during this uniquely challenging time.

Sep. 19, 2020 at the Boulevard Drive-In

For any questions or to confirm a sponsorship, please contact