CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Education is one of the top professions dominated by women, but there’s a bill in the North Carolina General Assembly that aims to change that. 

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are trying to get more male minorities into the field of teaching. They’re not trying to ice women out of a job, but rather have more male minority role models for young kids who might not have one at home. 

According to the National Principal and Teacher Survey, white women make up 61 percent of public school teachers, and black men only makeup 1.3 percent. 

C.T. Kirk, a best-selling author and teacher, is a perfect example of what lawmakers are looking for from the bill. He teaches social studies at South Middle School in Lancaster, S.C. 

Kirk said he started teaching at 35 following a concerning conversation he had with a third-grader. 

“I was like, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?‘” said Kirk. “And he’s like, ‘A drug dealer, that’s the only example of what I see. So that’s what I want to be,’ and so I decided that I wanted to go into teaching to be a positive role model for those minorities that didn’t have anyone that they saw been successful other than an athlete or an entertainer.” 

Kirk has been inspiring students ever since, and hopes more minority men enter into the field of teaching. But Kirk also recognizes that some things need to change before that happens. 

“A lot of men who are the breadwinners are not going to take low pay to go into a classroom,” Kirk said. “Even though they may have that passion want to teach, they may want to inspire the next generation. But the money does not meet where a male can really be dominant in the field and make money to take care of his household unless he moves up.” 

If passed, House Bill 833 would allocate $150,000 into the State Department of Public Instruction to study and report on existing programs that could boost minority male teachers in public schools. Kirk wholeheartedly agrees more male minorities are needed in the teaching field, but doesn’t think a research team with a hefty budget is needed to accomplish that. 

“If districts did a better job of recruiting males graduating from high schools, you know, before they graduate and say, ‘Have you ever thought about being a teacher?’” Kirk continued, “What would we be without our teachers? And that should be something that we speak to a lot, the importance of teaching.” 

House Bill 833 was referred to the Education Committee and if favorable will head to the Appropriations Committee.