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Posts from the ‘CEA Messages’ Category

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.

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