R 361
2019 -- H 5553 SUBSTITUTE A
Enacted 06/11/2019

H O U S E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Representatives Alzate, McNamara, Casimiro, Kazarian, and Maldonado
Date Introduced: February 27, 2019

     WHEREAS, A report by the Learning Policy Institute showed that a diverse teacher
workforce is a very important strategy for improving learning and closing achievement gaps for
students of color; and
     WHEREAS, Increasing the number of teachers of color in Rhode Island's schools is not
only important and beneficial for students of color; a diverse teacher workforce that represents the
state's overall demographics will also benefit students of all racial backgrounds; now, therefore be
     RESOLVED, That a special legislative commission be and the same is hereby created
consisting of thirteen (13) members: three (3) of whom shall be members of the House of
Representatives, not more than two (2) from the same political party, to be appointed by the
Speaker of the House; one of whom shall be the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary
Education, or designee; one of whom shall be the President of the Rhode Island Chapter of the
American Federation of Teachers, or designee; one of whom shall be the President of the Rhode
Island Chapter of the National Education Association, or designee; three (3) of whom shall be
members of student focused organizations, such as, but not limited to, Providence Student Union,
Young Voices, Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education, and Youth in Action, to
be appointed by the Speaker of the House; three (3) of whom shall be members of community
based organizations with vested interest in the issue of teachers of color, such as, but not limited
to, EduLeaders of Color, Rhode Island Coalition for Educators of Color, Breakthrough
Providence, and Teach for America, to be appointed by the Speaker of the House; and one of
whom shall be a member of the Educational Studies faculty at Rhode Island College, to be
appointed by the Speaker of the House.
     In lieu of any appointment of a member of the legislature to a permanent advisory
commission, a legislative study commission, or any commission created by a General Assembly
resolution, the appointing authority may appoint a member of the general public to serve in lieu
of a legislator, provided that the majority leader or the minority leader of the political party which
is entitled to the appointment consents to the appointment of the member of the general public.
     The purpose of said commission shall be to study and make recommendations for
encouraging students and persons of color to enter and continue to be involved in the field of
education. The work and recommendations should include, but not be limited to:
     ( 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; and
     ( Identify a process or method to prepare, support, and encourage school leadership to
increase retention of teachers of color.
     Forthwith upon passage of this resolution, the members of the commission shall meet at
the call of the Speaker of the House and organize and shall select, from among the legislators, a
     Vacancies in said commission shall be filled in like manner as the original appointment.
     The membership of said commission shall receive no compensation for their services.
     All departments and agencies of the state shall furnish such advice and information,
documentary and otherwise, to said commission and its agents as is deemed necessary or
desirable by the commission to facilitate the purposes of this resolution.
     The Speaker of the House is hereby authorized and directed to provide suitable quarters
for said commission; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the
House of Representatives no later than April 17, 2020, and said commission shall expire on June
17, 2020.
LC001929/SUB A/2