Skip to content

Posts from the ‘CEA Messages’ Category

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.

American Education Week: A Message from CEA President Sheila Cohen

This month we celebrate American Education Week, a recognition of all that is outstanding about public education in America and in Connecticut. American Education Week honors excellent teaching and learning. Each day our students come to us with a wealth of experiences and an enthusiasm for learning.

This week, as parents visit our classrooms, I know they will observe highly dedicated, caring teachers who make meaningful connections between the wealth of experience their students bring, their enthusiasm for exploring new information and ideas, and the lessons taking place in the classroom.

In Connecticut, every week should be Education Week; we always have cause for celebration. Our state is home to great public schools. Students, parents, staff, and community members work together and share responsibility for the success of our students. We all celebrate and take pride in their accomplishments – because their success is our success. Read more

Statement From CEA President Sheila Cohen on Governor Signing Bipartisan Budget into Law

The governor yesterday signed the bipartisan budget into law, ending the draconian education cuts made under his Executive Order. The new budget restores essential ECS funding to cities and towns across the state. Torrington, which was cut by more than $20 million, and 138 other communities whose budgets were drastically cut, will now receive the education funding needed to ensure the continued operation of their schools and the high-quality education of their students. This was a critical step to avoid massive disruption in our schools across the state.

We appreciate that the new budget protects education funding for our students and schools, but we are disappointed that teachers were singled out and penalized with a teacher tax. While the proposed increase in the payroll tax on teachers was reduced from two percent to one percent, the monies collected from this teacher tax will not be used to help strengthen the teacher retirement fund, but will instead be pass-through revenue to the state similar to any other tax.

Our children and their futures should be a priority for every resident in Connecticut, as should their teachers, whose lives are dedicated to providing quality education.

Statement From CEA President Sheila Cohen on Passage of Bipartisan State Budget

CEA’s fight for a fair budget that invests in public education has ended in the legislature with a bipartisan agreement that does not substantially cut ECS funding or shift the cost of teacher retirement onto cities and towns. Under this budget, education funding for the state’s poorest districts would not be cut, and the remaining 139 school districts would lose five percent of funding. Next year, some of the funding is restored under an updated distribution formula. Click here to see how your district fares under this budget.

While we do not agree with everything in the budget, we do appreciate the effort of legislators to protect education funding for our students and schools and to solve the budget impasse. This agreement restores much-needed funding to our school districts, preventing teacher layoffs as well as cuts to programs and resources that would have led to larger class sizes and fewer opportunities for our students. Read more

New CEA Ad Campaign Puts Students, Teachers, and Public Schools in the Spotlight

Our public schools are filled with teachers who recognize each student’s true potential and provide the encouragement, inspiration, and support to help every student achieve, because every student matters and every teacher matters.

That is the core message of a new public awareness advertising campaign sponsored by the Connecticut Education Association and the National Education Association.

The TV, radio, and online ads underscore the vital role of teachers in our public schools. The ads remind the public that teachers are critical to the success of every child—and to our state’s success as well.

“During these uncertain times facing our public schools and with devastating cuts to education budgets across the state, the ads are a reminder of the need to support Connecticut’s public schools and the passionate teachers who help our students achieve,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “Supporting our public schools and dedicated teachers is an investment in our children’s future, and in our own future as a state.” Read more

Third Town Joins CEA Injunction Against Implementation of Governor’s Executive Order

The town of Plainfield, as well as teachers and students in the town, have joined the injunction to prevent Governor Malloy from implementing his executive order and cutting $557 million in education funding to cities and towns, jeopardizing the education of students and the resources and financial well-being of the state’s municipalities and their residents.

That brings to three the number of municipalities joining CEA in the suit. Last week CEA announced that Torrington and Brooklyn, as well as teachers and students in those two towns—had signed on to the injunction. All three municipalities rank high in levels of poverty, and the cuts will cause irreparable harm to students, teachers, and public schools. Read more

Interview With CEA President to Air Sunday on Local Radio Stations

From the state’s failure to pass a budget to CEA’s Holiday Bear program, CEA President Sheila Cohen discusses a wide range of education issues in a radio interview airing this Sunday. Cohen shares CEA’s mission and goals and highlights the many positive ways teachers across Connecticut are impacting their students’ lives.

You can quickly create an account to sign in and listen online now, or tune in this Sunday at

  • 6 a.m. on 960 WLEI,
  • 7 a.m. on KISS 95.7, KC 101, ESPN Radio 1300, Country 92.5, 100.9 The Beat, 97.9 ESPN, and News Radio 1410, or
  • 8 p.m. on the River 105.9.

CEA President Sheila Cohen Statement on CCJEF Appeal

Today’s arguments in the CCJEF v. Rell case, regarding equality in funding and resources for our schools, are more important than ever. The lower court ruling last September—which failed to require full funding for education—has ironically opened the door to destructive state budget proposals that would undermine schools throughout Connecticut, including in numerous high poverty communities. These proposals provide little in new resources for the largest cities, pit other towns and communities against each another, and slash educational funding for the vast majority of towns and schools. This court decision must be overturned so that our children are not punished in a race to the bottom.

The Connecticut Supreme Court could take over a year to decide on an appeal of the CCJEF decision, but that is no excuse for Connecticut lawmakers to wait to act. The future of our state lies with our youngest residents—all of them—and their future depends on receiving a quality public education now. Lawmakers must take action now to invest in our students and public education.