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Report reveals need for racial diversity in KC’s teachers

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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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.

Press & Media

KSHB Honors Local Latinx Leaders for Hispanic Heritage Month

Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Miami Beach, Florida.

What is your family heritage?
My family is from Nicaragua.

What is your occupation?
I run a nonprofit organization.

How have you supported or contributed to the local Hispanic/Latinx community?
I founded the Latinx Education Collaborative to increase the representation of Latinx education professionals in K-12.

How do you connect with your Hispanic/Latinx culture?
I love our music, food, our connection to family, and the contributions that our community has to done to make this country better.

What is your favorite childhood memory?
I loved visiting my family in Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
It’s a great time to learn about Hispanic leaders and celebrate the contributions of our community.

In your opinion, what is the most important issue facing the Hispanic/Latinx community?
Representation. Our community continues to grow but we are underrepresented in leadership and decision-making positions.

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Press & Media

Local Residents react to Trump’s debate performance, COVID diagnosis

KC Hispanic News, October 8, 2020 –

President Donald Trump returned to the White House on Monday evening after having spent the weekend at Maryland’s Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as questions swirled amid his positive test for

Media pundits and politicians alike expressed frustration at the lack of transparency from Trump’s medical team, and that frustration was only
exacerbated by video released of the being driven outside the grounds of the hospital, waving to supporters. Under the U.S. Constitution, after the Vice President, the second in line for the presidency is the Speaker of the House. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who receives daily intelligence and national security briefings, said on Monday that she has only learned about the president’s condition and related updates through the media, not through the White House itself. “This is tragic. It’s very sad,” Pelosi said on MSNBC last week. “But it also is something that, again, going into crowds
unmasked and all the rest was sort of a brazen invitation for something like this to happen.”

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