NYC to fund anti-bias training for educators

Riia O’Donnell
May 1, 2018

Dive Brief:

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has unveiled the city’s 2019 budget, which includes $23 million to fund anti-bias training for its educators. The funding will bring training to all educators by 2022, according to multiple media reports.

The budget allocates $4.8 million for culturally responsive practices and implicit bias training beginning July 1, the New York Daily News reports. The city hopes to provide training to all educators by the end of the 2021-22 school year.

The training initiative may be partly in response to the Daily News’ exposé of alleged problems in the school system, the paper claims. Reports of a principal who barred black history lessons, and a teacher who stepped on a student to demonstrate slavery led activists to demand training from the school system.

Dive Insight:

Anti-bias training has entered the spotlight for both public and private employers recently. A video of an incident at a Philadelphia Starbucks immediately went viral, prompting the company’s CEO to make a public statement and close all 8,000 U.S. locations later this month to provide racial bias education. The NAACP last year issued a warning about racial bias at American Airlines, which also has initiated anti-bias training.

As more companies look to improve their diversity hiring initiatives, more training may be needed to prevent bias and promote inclusion. As the workplace evolves to place a larger emphasis on hiring from a diverse talent pool, “new biases and assumptions will come to the surface,” Ingrid Fredeen, vice president and senior product manager at NAVEXEngage, recently told HR Dive.

Experts suggest that employers that address the issue proactively will likely see more success. To become more proactive, employers may need to take a serious look at their employee data and find ways to use that data to pinpoint problem areas in their management — and then use that information to craft relevant training, when appropriate.


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