National Education Association-Rhode Island (NEARI) is the state-level affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA) teachers’ union operating in Rhode Island.
NEARI is led by president Lawrence E. Purtill who is also the treasurer of the Rhode Island Institute for Labor Studies and Research and was previously on the executive board of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO. 
Lawsuit Against Nicole Solas
On August 2, 2021, NEARI filed a lawsuit against Nicole Solas, a mother in South Kingston, Rhode Island to prevent Solas from obtaining documents about the school district’s approach to teaching critical race theory and its communications with union members via a public records request.  The right-of-center Legal Insurrection Foundation reported that the union’s lawsuit claims that the records request would reveal the private information of teachers, and the union had reason to prevent the release of private information to protect its members. The Legal Insurrection Foundation argued that the claim is unfounded since Solas’ request is only pursuant to public records, not private information. 
William A. Jacobson, a professor at Cornell Law School who writes for the Legal Insurrection Foundation, wrote “My initial take is that this smells collusive. South Kingstown doesn’t want to produce records and the union is helping them out.” Jacobson also noted that the South Kingston NEA had previously held a special membership meeting that singled Solas out as a danger, reportedly calling her records requests a “Attack on Public Education.”