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With financial incentives and extra support, Philly and Pa. plan to recruit more teachers of color

Plagued by a teacher shortage in general and the nation’s lowest rate of teachers of color, Pennsylvania education officials Wednesday announced a program to recruit, train, and keep a more diverse force of educators.The program, Aspiring to Educate — the first of its kind in the nation, Education Secretary Pedro Rivera said — will provide free or reduced tuition at Community College of Philadelphia and Temple, Drexel, West Chester, Arcadia, and Cabrini Universities, as well as mentoring support. It will be piloted in Philadelphia with support from the Pennsylvania’s teaching pool has shrunk by more than 65% since 2013, and the educator force is 96% white, making the state’s teacher ranks the least diverse in the United States, officials said.