Why are there so few Latino teachers?

The purpose of this study is to determine what measures can be implemented to help increase the low number of Latino teachers in K-12 public education. The information and data for conducting this study was collected from teachers and students at suburban schools in San Diego county. More specifically, the qualitative data was obtained from three Latino teachers and one Latino teacher's aide while the quantitative date was obtained from students in four different AVID classes. This study provides an overview on the need to diversify the teaching ranks, obstacles hindering minorities from entering the teaching profession, recruiting and training of minority teachers, and successful minority teacher recruitment programs. If our nation's teaching force is to be representative of its students, it is imperative we increase the number of Latino teachers in K-12 public education. Only about five percent of all public school teachers are Latino, even though the number of Latino students is sixteen percent. These numbers illustrate the fact that current methods to encourage Latinos to become teachers are not helping alleviate the Latino teacher shortage. The findings in this study indicate that to increase the number of Latino teachers in K-12 public education we need to consider paying teachers more money, creating scholarships and programs aimed at Latino students, and encouraging more teachers to mentor Latino students starting at elementary school. DESCRIPfORS: AVID; Latino Students; Latino Teachers; Mentoring; Minority Group Teacher