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Posts from the ‘CEA News’ Category

Teachers Share Powerful Stories of Classroom Violence, Diminished Learning with Lawmakers

Connecticut teachers Danielle Fragoso, Jennifer Reynolds, and Cindy Mazzotta prepare to testify before lawmakers about their experience with aggressive student behavior.

At a public hearing of the legislature’s Education Committee today, classroom teachers—along with CEA leaders and staff—gave powerful testimony urging lawmakers to address the crisis of violent student behavior in rural, urban, and suburban schools throughout the state.

They asked their legislators to support a bill—House Bill 7110 An Act Concerning Enhanced Classroom Safety and School Climate—that would require schools to help students exhibiting extreme behaviors, provide increased student supports and teacher training, and address children’s mental health and social-emotional needs.

More than a dozen teachers and CEA staff testified in person at the hearing, while over 100 others submitted written testimony describing behaviors that continually render their classrooms unsafe and inhibit learning for all students. Read more

Statement from CEA President Jeff Leake on Governor Lamont’s Budget Address

CEA supports sensible ways of assisting the state in its efforts to make up for decades of underfunding teachers’ retirement, including the governor and treasurer’s plan to smooth out the state’s payments to the fund over a longer period of time and lower the investment earning assumption to a more realistic rate. Teachers have consistently paid their fair share into the fund—while the state has not—and teachers had their payments increase nearly 20 percent last year.

However, we oppose any teacher retirement cost shift that transfers millions in costs from the state to our cities and towns, putting additional financial strain on taxpayers and pressure on already tight school budgets. The plan to shift the cost of teacher retirement contributions onto our cities and towns didn’t sit well with Connecticut taxpayers, legislators, and municipalities in 2017—because it placed additional financial burdens on cities and towns and property owners—and it doesn’t sit well with them today. Read more

CEA Members, Leaders, Staff Testify Before Black and Puerto Rican Caucus

Teachers, CEA leaders, and staff testified yesterday before the Connecticut General Assembly’s Black and Puerto Rican Caucus on issues critical to teachers this legislative session.

Read more

Crisis in the Classroom: Legislators Need to Hear From You

Many Connecticut children are losing out on learning time when disruptive behavior from another student continually interrupts the school day. Problematic student behavior is a major problem in our schools, but many legislators aren’t aware of what’s happening in your classroom. They need to hear your stories.

On Friday, February 22, the legislature’s Education Committee will be holding a public hearing on legislation that protects students and teachers from dangerous situations in the classroom, and provides support and services for students who act out. Legislators need to hear from you!

Click here to submit written testimony now.

You can submit your story under your own name, or anonymously.

If you are interested in testifying and sharing your story in person with the Education Committee on February 22, please contact myvoice@cea.org.

Encouraging the Love of Reading With CEF’s 2nd Annual Reading Bus Tour

Screen Shot 2019-02-14 at 6.07.56 PMThe second annual Read Across America Reading Bus Tour will be heading off across Eastern Connecticut on February 25 for a week full of visits to elementary schools. Over 1,000 fourth graders will get to board the bus for read alouds and hands-on activities, and will receive book bags, school supplies, and free books.

CEA Vice President and Connecticut Education Foundation (CEF) President Tom Nicholas joined iHeart Radio’s Renee DeNino recently to talk about the bus tour and the importance of reading in children’s lives. Listen to the interview here. Read more

CEA Joins Labor Community in Urging Alternatives to Austerity

“We reject the idea of cutting our way to prosperity. That has never worked,”  said Connecticut AFL-CIO President Sal Luciano. His remarks came at a press conference yesterday where members of the labor community, including CEA, called on the state to adopt a pro-growth, investment budget.

Members of the Connecticut labor community, including Norwalk Federation of Teachers President Mary Yordon (at podium), CEA President Jeff Leake (standing at left), and Connecticut AFL-CIO President Sal Luciano (at far right), held a press conference yesterday to call on the state to adopt a pro-growth, investment budget.

Labor leaders pointed out that austerity budgets haven’t worked elsewhere, and there is no reason to believe one would work in Connecticut. Their remarks came ahead of the governor’s budget address, which is expected February 20. Read more

Quality Professional Development for You From CEA

The CEA Professional Learning Academy offers a wealth of professional development opportunities, aligned with Connecticut’s professional learning standards, to improve teaching practice and enhance student learning.

CEA Teacher Development Specialist Kate Field leads a teacher evaluation workshop.

Through the CEA Professional Learning Academy, members can attend free workshops, conferences, and trainings developed by experienced educators, administrators, and experts in law and special education. CEA is a State Department of Education designated provider of professional development.

CEA offers workshops and seminars on dozens of topics, including  Read more

Disrupted Learning: Oregon Teachers Share Their Stories, and You Can Too

There’s a crisis of disrupted learning not just in Connecticut, but across the U.S., and the Oregon Education Association today released a report on the conditions students and educators are facing in schools.

Some Oregon teachers talked to a local news station about the disruptions they face daily.

Teachers in Connecticut experience many of these same situations, but legislators are unaware of the severity and pervasiveness of the problem.

Share your own story (anonymously if you so choose) to make legislators aware of the need for action to make classrooms safe for all students and teachers.

To arrange for a teacher-legislator get-together in your district, contact your local association president and CEA’s Chris Donovan or Robyn Kaplan-Cho.

At Early Leadership Institute, Teachers Hone Leadership, Professional Skills

More than 40 early-career educators from Bridgeport, Manchester, Stamford, and Waterbury gathered for a kickoff meeting of the Early Leadership Institute (ELI), a program of the National Education Association, CEA, and the Center for Great Public Schools.

More than 40 teachers from four districts convened in Norwalk with CEA staff and leaders to begin forging a path to educational leadership. See more photos.

Teacher fellows were joined by CEA staff, including UniServ representatives, as well as their local association presidents—all there to work on developing stronger public schools and greater teacher leadership capacity within those schools. Read more

CEA Joins Call for a Living Wage, Paid Family Leave

Many labor unions are advocating improved conditions for working families this legislative session, and the CEA Board of Directors formally joined them recently by passing resolutions in support of raising the minimum wage and ensuring paid family leave.

“When children don’t have a safe home, enough to eat, or regular medical care they’re not able to focus on academics when they come to school,” says CEA President Jeff Leake. “When parents have to work two or three jobs to pay the rent they don’t have time to read to their children, to help with homework, or to attend school events. Ensuring a living wage would help Connecticut families provide a brighter future for their children.”

Studies have also found that when families’ financial situation improves their children experience improved emotional and behavioral health. Read more