The La Crosse School District is a melting pot of sorts with students of all different cultures.
The faces at the front of the classroom are all pretty similar.
The district and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse are hoping to change that.
A grant from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development will pay for tuition for two assistants enrolled in the Grow Your Own Teacher Diversity program at UW-L.
Mai Chao Duddeck, the senior equity advisor at UW-L, said the rates in 2016 concerned them.
“There were 500 teachers total, but just 24 were multicultural,” Duddeck said. “That’s about roughly 5 percent of the teaching force.”
The $21,500 grant will pay full tuition and fees, as well as testing assessments.
“It’s so important for students of color to see a person of color in a leadership role, because it gives them a vision to possibly be a leader themselves,” Duddeck said.
The program holds four students from underrepresented backgrounds.
Duddeck says it has a waiting list, but it can’t expand much more because of limited financial resources.