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6/11/2019 Rep. Alzate resolution that creates commission to encourage more persons of color to enter education careers passes House
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Karen Alzate’s (D-Dist. 60, Pawtucket) resolution (2019-H 5553A) that would create a 13 member special legislative commission to study and make recommendations for encouraging more persons of color to enter education fields passed the House of Representatives tonight.

“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:
  • Develop an approach to inform students of color in the state on the importance and benefits of entering the field of education.
  • Identify relevant research and successful practices to enhance minority teacher recruitment and retention throughout the state.
  • Identify and establish public, private, and philanthropic partnerships to increase minority (meaning individuals whose race is other than white, or whose ethnicity is Hispanic or Latino as that term is used by the U.S. Census Bureau) teacher recruitment, including, but not limited to teacher preparation programs.
  • Advise and support local and regional boards of education to prioritize minority teacher recruitment and develop innovative strategies to attract and retain minority teachers within their districts.
  • Review the requirements that prevent persons of color from choosing this profession and remaining in it, including, but not limited to, teacher preparation programs, certification requirements, and lack of diversity in union leadership.
  • Identify a process or method to prepare, support, and encourage school leadership to increase retention of teachers of color.
The commission will consist of three members of the House of Representatives; 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; three members of student focused organizations, such as Providence Student Union or Young Voices; three members of community based organizations, such as the RI Coalition for Educators of Color or Teach for America; and one member of the Educational Studies faculty at Rhode Island College.

The commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the House of Representatives no later than April 17, 2020 and the commission will expire on June 17, 2020.

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