By Russell Contreras

Data: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Chart: Baidi Wang/Axios

America’s 6.6 million public-school teachers have grown more racially and ethnically diverse — but not nearly as fast as the student population, which is nearing majority-minority, Axios’ Russell Contreras writes.

  • Census data this month (based on 2014-18) showed three in four public-school teachers were white — while nearly half of students from preschool to high school were students of color.

What’s happening: The disparities are especially acute between Hispanic students and teachers.

  • Recruitment is only part of the problem: Experts tell Axios teachers of color are leaving the profession faster than their white counterparts.

Zoom out: The gaps are widening as school districts become political lightning rods in elections.

By the numbers: 79% of U.S. public school teachers identified as white, non-Hispanic, according to a Pew Research Center analysis released last month. (The data are from the 2017-18 school year — the latest available from the National Center for Education Statistics.)

  • Fewer than one in 10 teachers was Black (7%), Hispanic (9%) or Asian American (2%).
  • Compare that with the latest available comparable student data: 47% of public elementary and secondary school students were white, 27% were Latino, 15% were Black and 5% were Asian American.

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