Taylor County schools to improve hiring practices, get more applicants of color to their schools

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 6:26 PM EDT
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TAYLOR COUNTY, Fla. (WCTV) - A new report is out on hiring at the Taylor County school district.

This comes after a committee found racial discrimination in their hiring practices and the school district hired an outside law firm to complete the review.

The report was more than 20 pages long and focused on how the school district can improve their hiring practices and get more applicants of color to their schools.

During Tuesday’s School Board meeting, the board was handed the report on how to their diversity in the workplace.

Lawyer Holly Dincman wrote and presented her findings.

“If you are going to increase your minority labor pool, you are going to have to make some recruitment efforts outside the county and try to draw in qualified educators,” explained Dincman.

She said about 20 percent of the Taylor County students are Black, but the school staff does not reflect that, as her findings show only about 5 percent of school staff are Black.

“And that’s at the point you go to about 95% Caucasian, 5% African American. What does that say? Well that says a pretty loud and clear message that you need to have improvement in diversity in and amongst your instructional and administrative staff,” said Dincman.

The report has 10 different recommendations which include:

  1. Creating and funding a Human Resources Specialist or Human Resources Manager to support the Director of Personnel and expand the capabilities of the HR Department
  2. Set a budget of $7,500 for Recruitment which will allow for procurement of recruiting materials, attendance at 4 job fairs a year, with half of those being minority recruitment fairs, and membership on several recruiting platforms
  3. Designate an Implementation Team
  4. Expand advertising for open positions on additional recruiting platforms
  5. Upgrade recruiting and new hire resources on the District’s website
  6. Create a Uniform Hiring Procedures Manual
  7. Create a program to develop future leaders and to serve as a pool for Dean and Assistant Principal hiring
  8. Set accountability and reporting measures
  9. Formalize onboarding process and New Employee Orientation Program
  10. Set a date for training of hiring authorities

One of the original committee members that found racial discrimination in the hiring practices, Douglas Wallace, told WCTV in a statement:

“I am happy to see that many of the recommendations the committee made were also endorsed by the outside attorney. However, I am dismayed that the school district spent thousands of dollars that could have been spent on the district to receive recommendations they already had in hand. Furthermore, since the Report was released Florida A&M has held two large virtual hiring events and the school district has not participated in either. I hope through this entire process the citizens of the community have observed the issues, problems, and money spent. Because at the end of the day the voters have to hold public officials accountable when they refuse to lead the entire community with a sense of inclusion and equality.”

In an email, Superintendent Dr. Danny Glover said the school district has agreements with FAMU and FSU and will participate in virtual career fairs this week.

He added that their next step will also be creating a manual that Dincman outlined to train their staff so the process for hiring is fair and equal.

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