ISBE, Teach Plus Partner To Support, Retain Teachers of Color in Illinois

By Benjamin Cox on February 28, 2022 at 8:43pm

The Illinois State Board of Education announced today that it is putting $2 million into an effort to support and retain teachers of color.

ISBE will establish a statewide system of affinity groups in partnership with Sangamon-Menard Regional Office of Education 51 and Teach Plus. The groups will bring teachers of color together to examine issues facing them, including the causes of attrition, and to develop policy recommendations. The recommendations will inform local district leaders on ways to improve working conditions and experiences for teachers of color.

ISBE data shows that the state retains Black teachers at the lowest rate of all teacher groups. State Superintendent Carmen Ayala says that the effort is another way to create an equitable education system for the state.

The program will run for two and half years and be funded with federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief II funds. ROE 51 will administer the program in partnership with Teach Plus, a national nonprofit organization that develops and empowers teacher leaders. Teach Plus has facilitated projects focused on retaining teachers of color in Illinois and has implemented an affinity group structure in other states.

Educators interested in learning more about or participating in this initiative can contact Teach Plus Illinois Executive Director Josh Kaufmann at