News & Event
Members have reached out to needy students through the Children's Fund since 1985. During the holidays, their generosity is overwhelming.
This December, the NEARI Children’s Fund celebrated 26 years of its anonymous gift-giving program, the Gingerbread Express. Nearly 1500 needy students were connected with generous NEARI members and friends, who shopped for holiday presents according to the students' needs and desires.
The Gingerbread Express helped students in South Kingstown, Cumberland, East Providence, Chariho, Providence, Westerly, Burrillville, North Kingstown, Narragansett, and Newport. Some gifts are filtered through the NEARI office, while other local NEARI unions collect their own names and find their own donors. In addition, many classrooms across the state adopt names as a group project. Parents preserve the pride of their children by discreetly picking up their gifts in their respective school offices.
In one case, however, the Gingerbread Express arrives with a flourish. On December 16, Providence’s D’Abate School received a tractor-trailer delivery, courtesy of Teamsters Local 251, which transported the huge gift packages donors purchased for every one of its 400-plus children. NEARI has adopted D’Abate every year since the program began, due to the economic level of its students.
Helping with gift donations this year were companies that adopted large groups of children.
Thanks go to:
The NEARI Children’s Fund was established in 1985 to answer the needs of students coming to school without the basic necessities, such as proper clothing, eyeglasses, school supplies, and more. Any member of the organization may nominate a student for assistance, which is generally provided within 24 hours.
The Children's Fund is fueled by donations and fundraisers. Learn how you can support the Children's Fund all year long!
Find out how
Call the NEARI Children's Fund directly if you see a student in need. The coordinator is Val Staples, and she can be reached at 401-463-9630 ext. 304, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 31, 2016 - From fundraising to training, NEARI members worked this summer for the benefit of educators and students.
View the photos for:
The 2016 NEA Representative Assembly
The 25th Annual NEARI Children's Fund Golf Tournament
East Providence Teacher Leadership Academy Training
November 6, 2017 - CCRI Faculty Association filed an unfair labor practice against CCRI management for unilaterally imposing a J-Term and violating their collective bargaining agreement. CCRIFA president Steven Murray and elected representatives sent the below letter to their members. Murray also encouraged members to attend an informational meeting last week via video:
Members of the CCRI Faculty Association,
The attempt to unilaterally impose a J-Term by administration without consultation or bargaining with faculty is a serious matter, clearly violating our Collective Bargaining Agreement, the basic tenets of shared governance as provided in CCRI’s enabling statute RIGL 16-33.1-3, and the AAUP Statement on Shared Governance.
As your duly elected representatives, and in conjunction with CCRIFA Bylaw 5.2e1, the CCRIFA Executive Committee fully support our CCRIFA President, Steven Murray, and our exclusive bargaining agent NEARI, in the filing of an Unfair Labor Practice claim with the Rhode Island Labor Board.
As educators, we must question whether such condensed delivery of course material is academically sound and in the best interest of our students. By excluding faculty from the process, our administration puts our students at risk.
All members of the association should refrain from teaching these classes and chairs should refrain from scheduling them until an agreement with our Association has been reached. To teach and/or schedule these courses without an agreement weakens our ability to effectively bargain a new contract this spring, weakens our position in governance, and weakens students' chance of success.
Our union is only as strong as its members. We must stand united in our devotion to the students we have dedicated our careers to educate.
Mazin Adam, Art
Anthony Amore, English
Renée Anderson, English
James Austin, Library
Jean Billerbeck, Biology
Michael Burdon, English
Steven Forleo, English
Leslie Killgore, Social Sciences
Marc Levasseur, English
Debra Lilli, English
Todd Linton, Mathematics
John Mowry, Engineering and Technology
Carol Panaccione, Foreign Language
Anthony Rashid, Engineering and Technology
John Ribezzo, Business Administration
John Rood, Nursing
Kimberly Rouillier, Rehabilitative Health Programs
Laura Ryan, Library
Holly Susi, English
Luke Sutherland, Performing Arts
Paul White, Physics
Thanks to members' unprecedented, year-long advocacy on behalf of students, the era of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) finally ended when President Obama signed the Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA) December 10. Students and educators lived with the unintended consequences of the failed NCLB for more than 14 years, including an over-emphasis on standardized testing.
Continuing to advocate for an effective law, more than 9,000 NEA members submitted comments this summer on the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed regulations on accountability under ESSA, far more than any other single group. Now it’s time to submit comments on the proposed regulations on another provision of ESSA: “supplement not supplant,” which requires federal dollars to add to, not replace, state and local dollars. Comparing expenditures among schools tells us little about the resource needs of the students in those schools—what matters is sufficient funding, equitably distributed, to ensure that every student has access to meaningful opportunities to learn. The comment period on “supplement not supplant” ends November 7. Check out the proposed regulations, and then submit your comments.
ESSA furthers all three of NEA's core goals:
"This new law is a well-deserved victory for our nation because the Every Student Succeeds Act will create greater opportunity for every student regardless of ZIP Code.
"Now our work begins in earnest as we shift our attention toward implementation. We look forward to working closely with state and local policymakers, as well as other key stakeholders, to raise our voice to deliver on the promise of ESSA and to provide opportunity for all students."
"ESSA returns decision-making for our nation's education back where it belongs - in the hands of local educators, parents and communities - while keeping the focus on students most in need.
"Educators will have a seat at the table when it comes to making decisions that affect their students and classrooms. This legislation begins to close the opportunity gaps for students by providing a new system that includes an 'opportunity dashboard' with indicators of school success and student support. It reduces the amount of standardized testing in schools so students have more time to develop critical thinking while educators do what they love — teach.
"Senators Reed and Whitehouse, and Congressmen Langevin and Ciccilline have always advocated for educators and students. We thank them for their support in passing this important bill."
“This court decision does not change the fact that NEARI will still proudly represent our educators, education support professionals, higher education faculty and staff, and our state and municipal workers. Through the collective bargaining process, we will continue to fight for our students, our schools, our paychecks and our benefits,” said National Education Association Rhode Island Lawrence Purtill. “Our members will still provide a quality learning environment for our public-school students, continue to safeguard the health of Rhode Islanders, and continue to ensure that we have one of the best public college systems in the nation.
“Unions remain the most effective way for workers to advocate for their rights and secure a better future for themselves and their families. For those who believe this decision is a setback, we believe our members understand the power of collective action and that their continued union membership and involvement will make us stronger.”
October 11, 2108 – The National Education Association Rhode Island Political Action Committee for Education (NEARI-PACE) , in a special meeting, voted last night to recommend Gina Raimondo for Governor.
“We recognize this will be a difficult recommendation for some of our members due to the impact of pension changes,” said NEARI President Larry Purtill. “After due consideration, committee members felt the Governor’s remarks last night and her record as governor – specifically her work promoting all-day kindergarten, preschool, gun safety, the school construction bond, Rhode Island Promise, as well as addressing mental health concerns and strengthening equal protection for all students – merit a recommendation to NEARI members to support her in the election on November 6.
“With the current climate in Washington, we know she will stand with the labor movement and Rhode Islanders against the Trump administration’s efforts to undermine the progress we have made as a state. Her two main opponents are and will be supporters of the Trump agenda which does not benefit children, families or workers. For all these reasons and to move Rhode Island forward, we encourage members to vote for Gina Raimondo for Governor. We do not agree with the Governor on all issues. NEARI remains committed to and will continue to lobby the Governor and General Assembly for changes in the state pension system, continuing contracts, and a responsible contract resolution mechanism.”
NCLB - No Child Left Behind - is the federal education law that has imposed unrealistic mandates on states for the last 14 years. Specifically, its "test, blame, and punish" approach tied federal education aid into standardized test performance. Now, thanks to members' activism, both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are poised to make significant improvements.
There stands an excellent chance that by the new year, President Obama will have signed a new, vastly improved national education law – the seventh reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Ending NCLB and replacing it with a law that focuses on opportunity for all students is a goal that NEA has been focused on throughout the process.
In July, both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives passed ESEA reauthorizations – the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) and the Student Success Act (SSA), respectively. The two bills are similar in some ways and different in others. It is these differences that Senate and House education committee staff and leaders are ironing out to produce a joint, bipartisan ESEA bill that President Obama can sign into law.
Specifically, NEA believes that the final bill should:
The Senate, in particular, addressed all these key issues. Unfortunately, the current House version includes so-called "Title I Portability," which permits federal funding for disadvantaged children to "follow" students to a public school of their choice (essentially a backdoor to vouchers), which NEA strongly opposes. Read more about the voucher expansion.
Nothing is certain with Congress – bills can be easily derailed – but the finish line for ESEA reauthorization is in sight, and educators and parents have been urging lawmakers to stay focused and deliver a new law. In early November, a coalition of ten leading education and parent organizations, including the NEA, launched a digital campaign urging Congress to "get ESEA done."
Our Rhode Island Congressional delegation - Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed, and Rep. Jim Langevin and David Cicciline - has been 100 percent in agreement with NEA's position, and has been working to achieve a new ESEA. Thank them for their efforts on behalf of all students.
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