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A new program to recruit teachers of color in Providence will cover up to $25,000 in student loans

The Rhode Island Foundation is putting its money where its mouth is on teacher diversity

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green holds a homemade sign to greet students returning to Central High School in Providence in September 2020.
Rhode Island Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green holds a homemade sign to greet students returning to Central High School in Providence in September 2020.Amanda Milkovits

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Happy Monday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and yes, seven-inning no-hitters should still be considered no-hitters. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

ICYMI: Rhode Island was up to 146,324 confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday, after adding 259 new cases. The most-recent overall daily test-positive rate was 1.5 percent, and the first-time positive rate was 19 percent. The state announced no new deaths, keeping the total at 2,660. There were 147 people in the hospital, and 355,546 residents were fully vaccinated.


The Rhode Island Foundation is putting its money where its mouth is on teacher diversity.

The organization announced Monday that it has raised $3.1 million to recruit 125 new teachers of color for Providence schools over the next five years. Teachers will be offered up to $25,000 in college loan repayment incentives.

The new program is designed to address a significant diversity gap between teachers and students in Rhode Island’s largest schools district, a challenge that both the teachers’ union and the district are seeking to address.

As it stands now, approximately 79.5 percent of Providence teachers are white, compared to fewer than 9 percent of the student population, according to the district.”

The benefits of a diverse faculty are well documented,” said Rhode Island Foundation President and CEO Neil Steinberg. “Students can be inspired in new ways when their classrooms include role models who look like them. Research confirms that when taught by a teacher of color, students of color experience higher reading and math test scores, higher graduation rates, decreased dropout and discipline rates and increased enrollment in advanced courses.”


The program is open to new teachers – current ones are not eligible – and participants will be allowed to have up to $6,000 of their college loan debt paid off after completing one year of teaching, another $8,500 after year two, and $10,500 after the third year.

The foundation’s donors for the program included Judith and William BradenNancy and Charlie DunnRuth and Jonathan FainBhikhaji Maneckji, the Papitto Opportunity Connection, the Partnership for Rhode Island, The Stonehouse Mountain Family Fund, and Jyothi and Shivan Subramaniam.


⚓ Don’t miss Amanda Milkovits’ touching story about Frank O’Donnell, who is on a mission to save monarch butterflies in honor of his daughter. Since this story ran, Frank has received about 100 requests from people in 35 states to send milkweed seeds so they can help the endangered insects thrive. Read more.

⚓ This week’s Ocean State Innovators Q&A is with Tracey Cugno, founder of Leigh ShoeCase Company, which started by creating a new way to pack shoes and keep clothes and bags odor-free, and has since branched out to antimicrobial masks and other offerings. E-mail Alexa Gagosz with suggestions for this weekly interview. Read more.

⚓US Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed on Friday announced that they had secured nearly $22 million from the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations law to upgrade Rhode Island’s water infrastructure. Read more.

⚓ Nominations for Globe Rhode Island’s inaugural Top Places to Work survey are open for any organization — public, private, nonprofit, government — with 35 or more employees in the state. Nominations may be submitted at Globe.com/NominateRI or by calling (401) 226-0749. Companies will be surveyed from April through July, and nominations must be received by May 28. Read more.


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Crime: Opening arguments are scheduled to begin Monday in US District Court in Boston in former Fall River mayor Jasiel Correia’s trial on charges of extortion conspiracy, extortion aiding and abetting, bribery, tax evasion, and lying to investigators. Read more.

Politics: The Democrats’ push on civil rights has so far attracted zero Republican votes, however, while GOP party leaders spent last week tamping down a move by a handful of their more extreme members to form a caucus dedicated to celebrating “Anglo Saxon” heritage. Read more.

Education: The pandemic forced commencement online for all colleges last year, but this spring as vaccines are becoming readily available, schools are diverging widely on how they’re celebrating their seniors, leading students and their families to lobby for more of the traditional pomp and ceremony. Read more

Entertainment: Here’s a look at all the big winners from last night’s Academy Awards. Read more.


Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

⚓ The Policy Lab at Brown University is hosting a 2 p.m. virtual discussion with Columbia, South Carolina Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin.

⚓ A group that is advocating for cannabis legalization is hosting a 6 p.m. virtual event that will focus on social equity.⚓ The Providence Board of Canvassers meets a 1:30 p.m. to set polling places for the June 8 special City Council primary in Ward 15.


⚓ Do you ❤ Rhode Map? Your subscription is what makes it possible. We’ve got a great offer here.

Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.