Access to high-quality teachers in K–12 schools differs systematically by racial group. This policy brief reviews the academic research documenting these differences and the labor market forces and segregation patterns that solidify them. It also presents new analysis of differential exposure in North Carolina of white, black, and Hispanic students to teachers with different quality-related credentials across five grade–subject combinations. White students are most often in classrooms taught by teachers with strong credentials and least often by those with weak credentials, not only across the state as a whole, but also within most of the state's counties, especially those whose schools are most segregated by race. To address such disparities, decision makers at all three levels—state, district, and school—have various policy options to consider, with each level having an important role to play.

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