Beloit School District Sponsors Illegal & Discriminatory Scholarships, Solicits Employees for Funding

WILL promises further legal action if changes to the program are not made

The News: Today, the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) warned the School District of Beloit (“the District”) that it must cease all discriminatory programs. Following numerous complaints of race-based policies in the District, WILL warned the District specifically about its “Grow Your Own Multicultural Teacher Scholarship Program” (GYO). According to numerous publicly available documents and other materials, the district solicits contributions from employees and Board members to fund racially discriminatory teaching scholarships for students and staff. GYO scholars receive up to $20,000 ($5,000 per year for four years) in addition to mentoring services. But GYO is not for everyone. The District uses the scholarships to train and recruit new “teacher[s] who look like” certain students, and so the program extends only to members of certain racial minority groups preferred by the District. The District’s race-based GYO program violates numerous anti-discrimination prohibitions, including the United States Constitution and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. WILL warns of further action if the District insists on maintaining this unlawful program.

The Quote: WILL Associate Counsel, Cara Tolliver, stated, “The District’s race-based GYO program is patently unconstitutional and illegal under decades-old United States Supreme Court precedent and other laws. Citizens ought to demand more from their elected government officials—even more so for those charged with the care and education of children. Given the ongoing teacher shortage, the District should be welcoming all qualified scholarship candidates, not foreclosing teaching incentives on the irrelevant and unlawful basis of a human being’s skin pigmentation or ethnic make-up.”

The Blatant Discrimination with Taxpayer Money: The scholarship reflects the District’s commitment “to ensure a diverse professional teaching workforce” so that students can “see[] and be[] taught by a teacher who looks like them.” For the purposes of the GYO program, the following racial groups are as acknowledged as “diverse”: “Black/African American,” “Native American/Alaskan,” “Asian,” and “Hispanic/Latinx.”

Moreover, the District relies on the use of public resources, time, and employees to operate, promote, and support the GYO program. In fact, the District solicits funding from its employees and Board members through direct payroll deductions and other available options and has offered incentives for paid-time-off to staff members who donate to the GYO fund.

Cara Tolliver

Cara Tolliver

Associate Counsel

In 2021, the District noted that a total of three scholarships had been awarded. Since then, the District has continued making scholarship awards, including awards for the currently posted 2023 recipients. A 2023 financial statement from Stateline Community Foundation, which manages the District’s GYO funds, details contributions totaling $25,500.00 with an end-of-the- year balance of $41,453.54.

Among myriad constitutional and legal issues plaguing the District’s discriminatory program, the District advances its GYO scholarship based on a desire to achieve a racial balance between teaching staff and students—a notion that has been thoroughly repudiated by the United States Supreme Court time and time again.

About WILL: We litigate, educate, and participate in public discourse. Our case categories include Individual Liberties, Equality Under the Law, Constitutional Government and the Rule of Law, Economic Freedom, and Education Reform. We have prevailed in roughly 80% of the matters we have undertaken. Our record of winning is indisputable. WILL’s winning reputation has allowed us to settle other matters without ever filing a lawsuit. Find out more at: and

Read More:

Share This