LEON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — Working to reduce racial inequities in the school system.
That's what people in Tallahassee talked about Wednesday night.
"You've got to start with the relationship. If you don't start there the knowledge isn't going to come. "
That's one of the many suggestions given to a panel of Leon County Schools Principles and staff.
The goal to discuss inequities in education.
"This was an opportunity to come together to talk about the good things that are happening and the things that we need to happen," said Commissioner Dianne-Williams Cox.
Dr. Henry Lewis presenting shocking statistics about the reality of students coming into Title One schools.
"Those schools all have less than 35 percent of their students who come to school prepared for the first grade. So that means they are already behind when they come," said Dr. Henry Lewis.
Dr. Lewis says there is also a need for more African American male teachers.
This after Superintendent Rocky Hanna also brought to light a teacher shortage crisis in Leon County.
"We have an even greater African American male teacher problem so we have to do a better job recruiting teachers and retaining them."
One parent says she feels more diversity in the teaching staff would be beneficial to students in Title 1 schools.
"There are statistics that show when minority students have minority teachers they perform better," Fayon Jones.
The ultimate goal is to level the playing field for all schools in the county.
"We're going to eradicate the inequities in our education and in other areas in our city," said Commissioner Williams-Cox.
The school district says they are proud of the success they have made with Title One schools, and credits the principles and teachers for all their work.