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3/13/2019 Rep. Alzate introduces bill to create commission to encourage more persons of color to enter education careers
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Karen Alzate (D-Dist. 60, Pawtucket) has introduced legislation (2019-H 5553) that would create a nine member special legislative commission to study and make recommendations for encouraging more persons of color to enter education fields.

“Study after study have proved the beneficial aspects of having a diverse teacher workforce, especially in regards to closing achievement gaps for students of color.  A more diverse teacher workforce that represents our state’s demographics also benefits students of all racial backgrounds.  Yet, our teachers are not representative of the communities our students come from and we have to rectify this imbalance for the sake of our kids.  This commission will be an important first step to attaining a diverse teacher pool that our students, especially our students of color, deserve,” said Representative Alzate.

The recommendations of the commission should include:
  • An intentional and sustained approach to informing students of color in the state's public high schools on the importance and benefits of entering the field of education.
  • A process or method to prepare, support, encourage, and retain newly hired teachers of color.
  • Recommendations and methods to increase teacher workforce diversity in the state's urban school districts.
The commission will consist of three members of the House of Representatives, the President of the RI Association of School Committees, the President of the RI Association of Administrators, the President of the RI Chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, the President of the RI Chapter of the National Education Association, the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the Department Chairperson of the Rhode Island College School of Education.

The commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the House of Representatives no later than January 28, 2020 and the commission will expire on March 28, 2020.

The legislation has been referred to the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare.

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903