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Education Reform Signed into Law

CEA President Phil Apruzzese attends the education bill signing at the Capitol today.

Teachers’ commitment to students and public education was a clear presence at the State Capitol today as Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed Connecticut’s new education reform law. What a difference teachers make when they advocate through political action.

This spring, legislator after legislator commented on the volume of communications they received from teachers. CEA President Phil Apruzzese said, “My thanks to all my colleagues. Whether you made phone calls, sent e-mails, sent postcards, or met with legislators back home or at the State Capitol, you made the difference. Our rallies in April, where 2,000 of you showed your spirit and character, were spectacular events that will go down in CEA’s history books.”

In a Hartford Courant article today, Senate President Don Williams is quoted as saying that listening to teachers made a big difference. “It was critical to resolving the differences,” he said, “and it made perfect sense because I think only teachers could have given input necessary to resolve it, because they are the ones in the classroom.”

The difference between the governor’s original bill and what was enacted is remarkable and the scope and timing of the new law ensures proper planning and implementation. Some changes will not commence until July 1, 2013, while the implementation date of others is in 2014.

After the bill signing ceremony, Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor said the “Initial bill was rough around the edges, but the legislative process polished it and helped create a better bill.”

Please extend your thanks to legislators, especially Senate President Don Williams, House Speaker Chris Donovan, and Education Committee Co-Chair Senator Andrea Stillman, for their leadership and tireless efforts in legislative negotiations. The Senate adopted the legislation in a 28-to-7 vote, while the House of Representatives voted unanimously for the measure. Teachers also appreciate the job that Education Committee Co-Chair Andrew Fleischmann did managing the House floor debate.

Please use the link and phone numbers below to contact your legislators who supported positive education reform and thank them.

www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/CGAFindLeg.asp

Senate Democrats  1-800-842-1420           Senate Republicans  1-800-842-1421

House Democrats  1-800-842-1902            House Republicans  1-800-842-1423

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