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Posts from the ‘CEA Messages’ Category

Teachers Elect New Leaders

In contested races, 428 teacher delegates elected a new president, Jeff Leake, and vice president, Tom Nicholas, to lead the Connecticut Education Association for the next three years. The election took place on May 19 at the 170th CEA Representative Assembly (CEA RA). The president and vice president’s three-year terms begin July 15.

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Current CEA Vice President Jeff Leake and Treasurer Tom Nicholas were voted CEA President and Vice President at the CEA RA today.

In addition, in uncontested races, delegates elected directors to represent them on the NEA Board of Directors. Vernon teacher David Jedidian was elected NEA director, and Tara Flaherty, a teacher at Shepaug Valley School in Washington, was elected NEA director alternate. Their three-year terms begin September 1.

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Retired Teachers Applaud Legislative Funding, Ready to Stay Active and Engaged

CEA Executive Director Donald Williams thanked CEA-Retired members for reaching out to their legislators in such great numbers.

“Those of you who went to retired lobby day, who reached out to your legislators, I can’t thank you enough,” CEA Executive Director Donald Williams told members of CEA-Retired gathered for their annual spring meeting this morning. “You made a tremendous difference and had a big impact on the legislature this year.”

In the budget that passed the Connecticut General Assembly late last night, legislators designated $16 million for the Retired Teachers’ Health Insurance Fund—contributing their full share for the first time in many years. While the state is supposed to contribute one-third of the fund’s actuarially required amount and retired teachers and active teachers each contribute one-third, the state has not been funding its share recently—putting the fund on the precipice of bankruptcy.

“Full state funding for the Retired Teachers’ Health Insurance Fund has been one of our top priorities in recent years,” Williams said. “Thank you for your great work.” Read more

National Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation FBToday begins National Teacher Appreciation Week in recognition of all that is outstanding about public education in America and in Connecticut. Teacher Appreciation Week honors excellent teaching and learning. Each day of the school year our students come to us with a wealth of experiences, an enthusiasm for learning, and a genuine respect for education.

Throughout the year, anyone entering our school buildings and our classrooms observes genuinely dedicated, highly qualified, and infinitely caring teachers who make meaningful connections between teaching and learning. I once heard a teacher say, “Teaching is not what I do. It is who I am.” This statement had a profound effect on me for, I believe, it speaks directly to you, Connecticut teachers. In Connecticut, teaching is not what we do, it is who we are. Read more

The Impact of Complex Trauma in Schools

2018-04-17_15-36-24In this timely workshop just for CEA members and presented by CEA’s Human and Civil Rights Commission, you will learn

  • the definition of complex trauma,
  • how it manifests in school-age children,
  • its impact on learning, behavior, and social-emotional functioning,
  • how a trauma-sensitive environment can help, and
  • what strategies you can use in your classroom.

Click here to register. Read more

CEA on Radio: Legislators Must Act to End Assaults by Students

CEA’s Robyn Kaplan-Cho and Manchester Education Association President Kate Dias appeared on Mornings With Ray Dunaway today to talk about classroom safety and disruptive student behavior.

As surprising as it may sound, students biting, kicking, throwing furniture, and hurting other students and teachers has become common in schools across Connecticut, CEA Program Development Specialist Robyn Kaplan-Cho told WTIC’s Ray Dunaway during an appearance on his radio show this morning.

“Teachers are basically expected to take care of every possible societal ill while also making sure these kids are learning. And the schools are not equipped for it, there aren’t the resources for it, and the level of administrative and parental support in many cases is not what it needs to be,” said Kaplan-Cho. Read more

Statement from CEA President Sheila Cohen on Arming Teachers to Prevent School Violence

The Connecticut Education Association does not endorse the idea that teachers should bring guns into the classroom.

Teachers must focus on educating students. Asking teachers to be armed, paramilitary operatives as a result of the inability of Congress to pass gun violence prevention legislation is madness. We place enough mandates on our teachers—Congress needs to take action to keep our schools safe.

After the 2012 tragedy at Sandy Hook, Connecticut passed historic gun, mental health and school safety laws—some of the toughest in the nation—to help keep our children, our families, our schools, and our communities safe from gun violence. Republicans and Democrats worked together.

Congress must take action to protect all students in every school in America.

CEA is helping to coordinate school activities and early-morning Walk-Ins For Safe Schools on Thursday, March 14. School communities can stand in solidarity, and walk-in to school together to support the changes needed to make every school and every child safe.

CEA Teachers, Leaders to Appropriations Committee: We Need Full, Fair Education Funding

CEA leaders and members today called on the Appropriations Committee to restore ECS funding, support retired teachers, and fund the state’s new teacher induction program.

Quality public education does not happen without adequate funding.

That was the message from CEA teachers and leaders who held a news conference at the Legislative Office Building this afternoon. The news conference came in advance of a public hearing before the legislature’s Appropriations Committee, where teachers pushed for the restoration of education cost share (ECS) funding for schools, critical programs that support new teachers, and a budget that ensures veteran teachers who have dedicated their professional lives to Connecticut’s children can retire with dignity.

“Our students and teachers are dealing with the destructive consequences of budget cuts, including fewer resources, the elimination of programs, teacher layoffs, and increases in class size,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “Legislators must restore public school funding so that all students have the critical resources, tools, and support they need to achieve.” Read more

CEA President Sheila Cohen on State Supreme Court Ruling in CCJEF Case

Today’s ruling fails to protect education funding, and opens the door to an unprecedented assault on our schools and children. Communities all over the state have already seen the state withdraw from its obligation to fund our public schools. Rather than protect the quality of education in our communities, this decision allows the governor and the legislature to continue to slash funding to our schools and children. If Connecticut is to be an educational leader now and in the future, it will require that elected officials honor their duty to provide the equitable funding and resources all children deserve. CEA stands ready to work with educational partners toward this goal—the future of our students and state depend on it.

Happy Thanksgiving

As our national day for giving thanks approaches, I cannot help but think of what a challenging time this has been and will continue to be for so many of us. However, this special day does also usher in a holiday season that underscores that for which we should be grateful, and inspires the hope for the future that is cherished within us all. As the poet Robert Filie has written, “Thanksgiving focuses our minds on our blessings rather than on our problems. It makes the heart glad for what we have been given, and it takes our minds off the burdens we all have.”

So on behalf of the Leadership Team, I wish all of you and your families a glorious Thanksgiving, filled with cheer, with good health, with happiness, and with the courage to face each day with optimism and with confidence for the future.

With love and gratitude,

 

State Budget Eliminates TEAM Funding, Find Out What This Means for You

State funding for TEAM, the Teacher Education And Mentoring program, was unexpectedly wiped out in the budget that passed in October. TEAM is one of the most highly regarded new teacher induction and support programs in the country, and we all would like to see it remain so.

What does this funding elimination mean for beginning teachers and mentors?

CEA is working hard, advocating for a restoration of funding to TEAM and has been raising teachers’ concerns with legislators and the state Department of Education. Your advocacy is critical to the fight to restore the program.

If TEAM has benefited you and the students in your district, please share your story with your state legislators and/or members of the State Board of Education.