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Report reveals need for racial diversity in KC’s teachers

KC Hispanic News, Published March 26, 2021 – A new report shows that Latinx/Latino/Hispanic students in Kansas City metro-area schools are unlikely to see themselves reflected in the teacher leading their classroom.

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Articles News Press & Media

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 News

Seeking Board Members: School of Economics

It’s official! The School of Economics at UMB is now open and ready to provide financial education programs to thousands of students from across the Kansas City area. We recently had the chance to celebrate‡ this milestone with the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Quinton Lucas and dozens of other community and business leaders with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

At UMB, we have always believed it is critical for children to learn the basics of personal finance and money management. So, when the opportunity arose to help the School of Economics‡ expand and open a second location onsite at UMB, we knew it was a perfect fit. By bringing its programming to downtown, we are able to help School of Economics eventually double its impact and provide financial education to even more Kansas City students.

School of Economics takes an innovative and responsive approach to tackling one of this region’s most important community needs — financial education. The program introduces students to small business management, supply and demand, customer service and important money management skills. It has been our honor to work with School of Economics and to show the community the true impact it has on our youth.

The real-world experience kids have at School of Economics introduces them to career options, develops leadership skills, encourages teamwork and lets them be in charge and learn about personal finances — all while tackling challenges and enjoying the rewards of running a business. I invite you to read more about the School of Economics in the links below, and hear remarks by Mayor Lucas, the KC Chamber and School of Economics leadership from the ribbon cutting ceremony in the video.   

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Interested Board Members candidates can reach out to Sheyvette Dinkens at

News Press & Media

Faced with a pandemic, nonprofit leaders get creative

By Barbara Shelly, The Beacon

The morning of Saturday, April 25, dawned crisp and clear — perfect conditions for Kansas City’s 32nd annual AIDS Walk.

But this year, Theis Park in Kansas City was empty at 9:30 a.m., when hundreds of walkers should have been gathered to sip coffee, greet friends and listen to pre-race announcements. Instead, organizers went live on Facebook with radio celebrities talking up the event from an indoor studio. At 10 a.m., walkers took to the streets alone or in carefully spaced pairs or trios, narrating the trek for an online audience.

AIDS Walk organizers opted to go virtual on March 18, in those chaotic days when Kansas City was shutting down to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. “Nobody wanted to do it, but we all united for the cause,” said Michael Lintecum, event director. 

The walk usually raises about $500,000 for agencies that serve people affected by the virus that causes AIDS. As of this week, fundraising stood at more than $300,000 — less than the goal, but better than Lintecum had feared. 

“Long after COVID-19 is over we’re still going to have to provide services for people living with AIDS,” he said.

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