NYC Schools Receive $23 Million in Anti-Bias Training Funds

 Chancellor Richard Carranza by Jefferson Siegel for NY Daily News

Chancellor Richard Carranza by Jefferson Siegel for NY Daily News

Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Richard Carranza announced that the city will spend $23 million for anti-bias training of city educators. In February, the NY Daily News published multiple stories uncovering allegations of racial bias, including a white teacher in the Bronx who stepped on the backs of black students during a Black History Month lesson, a Bronx principal who restricted Black history lessons and a Park Slope PTA committee that used Jim Crow-era imagery in their gala invites.

These stories inspired actions from activists all over the city, who pushed for anti-bias training for months after these reports. The inclusion of anti-bias training in the budget is in direct response to the cries of these activists, including NYC Coalition for Educational Justice, who delivered a petition signed by 20,000 people to City Hall a few weeks ago.

Culturally responsive teaching meets our kids and families where they are, and tailors the way we teach and serve our kids to their unique backgrounds and the experiences they bring into the classroom.
— Chancellor Carranza

"Parents from the Coalition for Educational Justice are proud today to see the Mayor make this strong investment in culturally responsive education and anti-bias training for school staff. Thousands of parents have worked hard over the past year to bring racial justice in the classroom to the center of the city's education agenda. We look forward to working with Chancellor Carranza and NYC educators to fulfill the promise of this initiative and begin the important work of diversifying curriculum and course offerings as well," said Natasha Capers, Coordinator for the NYC Coalition for Educational Justice, via a press release.

The trainings will cover several topics, including implicit bias, culturally responsive education, educating culturally and linguistically diverse students, empowering families, power and privilege, critical and courageous conversations about race, embracing diversity, and leading for equity and excellence.

"This is a real step forward for serving New York City's kids and families," Carranza said. "Culturally responsive teaching meets our kids and families where they are, and tailors the way we teach and serve our kids to their unique backgrounds and the experiences they bring into the classroom.”

The city will spend $4.8 million on implicit bias and culturally responsive practice training in the 2019 fiscal year, which begins in July. The budget in this area has increased from a mere $600,000 in 2018. The budget for the programs also includes $6.9 million for the programs in 2020, $6.2 million in 2021 and 5.5 million in 2022.