Skip to main content

Luis O. Reyes

Member at Large
County of Residence: 
New York
Regents Office, State Education Building, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, N.Y. 12234
(518) 474-5889


Luis O. Reyes, Ph.D. was appointed as a Research Associate at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, CUNY, in 2010. He serves as Centro’s Director of Education. Dr. Reyes has served as assistant professor in various education departments, including Lehman, Hunter, Brooklyn and Baruch Colleges, CUNY, and at Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus. Dr. Reyes earned a B.A. in Spanish Literature from The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC (1967), an M.A. in Spanish Literature from Middlebury College in Vermont (1971), and a Ph.D. in Social Sciences in Education from Stanford University, Palo Alto, California (1982).

Dr. Reyes has been an educator for more than 48 years, beginning as a Spanish teacher at Paramus Catholic High School and at Ramsey Public High School in Bergen County, New Jersey (1967-1973).

In the 1980s, Dr. Reyes administered a federal peer-counseling project for Aspira of America, Inc., that trained and engaged Latino and Haitian high school students in Newark and Hoboken, NJ, Chicago, IL, Philadelphia, PA, Miami, FL, and San Juan, PR.  He led Aspira of New York, Inc.’s Leadership Development Program; and, founded the Aspira Office of Research and Advocacy (AORA).  He monitored the NYC Board of Education’s compliance with the Aspira Consent Decree, the 1974 legal agreement that established the legal right to transitional bilingual education instruction and services for “limited-English proficient” (LEP), Spanish-surnamed public school children in New York City.

Dr. Reyes represented Aspira in various public education coalitions, advocating on behalf of Latino and other immigrant students and children of color. He served as Chair of the Education Priorities Panel (1989-1990), a city-wide coalition of good-government groups that monitored the NYC BOE and advocated with all levels of government on behalf of New York’s public school children.

Dr. Reyes was appointed as a Member of the NYC Board of Education in 1990 by then, Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger, serving two terms (1990-1998), and in various leadership positions: Chair of the Board’s Latino Commission on Educational Reform, Member and Chair-Elect of the Council of Great City Schools, and Member of the Steering Committee of the National School Boards Association/Council of Urban Boards of Education. He also represented the Board on the NY State School Boards Association and the Conference of Big Five School Districts.

Dr. Reyes coordinated the Coalition for Educational Excellence for English Language Learners (CEEELL) between 2002 and 2009 and is a founding member of the Latino Coalition for Early Care and Education (LCECE).

Dr. Reyes has lectured at Teachers College of Columbia University, Bank Street College of Education, New York University, and Fordham University on such topics as the education of Latino children and youth, bilingualism and bilingual education, dropout prevention, language rights, and multicultural education

His publications include an article in the Harvard Educational Review (October, 2006), on the 30th anniversary of the ASPIRA Consent Decree (1974) that established the legal right for Puerto Rican/Latino students in New York City who were Spanish dominant to receive bilingual education instruction. Dr. Reyes has a chapter entitled “Rebuilding the Puerto Rican education pipeline for a multilingual/multicultural future” in Puerto Ricans and the dawn of the new millennium, published by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies in 2014 (E. Meléndez and C. Vargas-Ramos, eds.).

Dr. Reyes was first elected in 2016 as an at-large member of New York State’s Board of Regents and was re-elected to a second term effective April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2026.  The Board of Regents presides over both the New York State Education Department and the University of the State of New York, the nation's most comprehensive and unified educational system.  The Regents are responsible for all elementary, secondary, and postsecondary educational institutions, libraries, museums, public broadcasting, records and archives, the licensed professions, and vocational and educational services for individuals with disabilities.