BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Public School district says it has a shortage of ethnically diverse teachers, so it's beginning a "grow your own" program.

Superintendent Kriner Cash and Buffalo State College President Katherine Conway-Turner announced plans Monday for a new Urban Teacher Academy at McKinley High School.

The program beginning this fall will let students earn 12 college credits while still in high school. After graduation, they'll attend Buffalo State's teacher education programs.

Cash says the district will benefit from a diverse talent pool of teachers, and future public school students will benefit from having teachers with similar backgrounds.

State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher says the plans address two big issues — a shortage of teachers in urban schools, and a lack of college readiness among high school students.

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