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Posts from the ‘Education news’ Category

Statement from CEA President Sheila Cohen on Governor’s Plan to Cut $557 Million in Education Funding in 139 Districts

Governor Malloy’s plan to cut $557 million in education funding would leave school budgets severely out of balance and schools unable to provide quality education for Connecticut’s students. This plan would be devastating for students and emphasizes the critical need for legislators to pass a state budget that protects and invests in public education.

85 cities and towns would lose all state educational funding and another 54 towns would have their funding severely cut, shortchanging our students and their future. The 30 Alliance District towns would receive flat funding compared to last year. Essential student resources in many towns with significant numbers of students living in poverty—such as Torrington, Plainfield, Milford, Groton, Berlin, and Stratford—would be wiped out due to the loss of state funding.

These draconian cuts would undermine the ability of our schools to provide quality educational opportunities for all children, and our ability as a state to remain a leader in education.

Legislators must create a fair budget that invests in public education and ensures a brighter future for Connecticut.

Teachers Reaching Out to Teachers

East Hartford teacher Tracey Lafayette door-knocked in North Haven yesterday with Pennsylvania UniServ Rep Justin Battalini (at left) and Massachusetts Regional Manager Victor Rosado.

What’s the biggest issue in your school or district for you as a teacher? How can your union help support you?

These were some of the questions posed to CEA members in New Haven County yesterday afternoon and evening as teacher union members and staff knocked on doors at educators’ homes.

Members and staff from NEA affiliates around the Northeast are gathered in New Haven this week for an organizing institute. The institute focuses on helping emerging leaders gain skills to build relationships and strengthen their local Associations. Door-knocking at CEA members’ homes was both a way to practice those new skills and find out what’s on teachers minds as they prepare to head back to school shortly.

CEA members and staff discuss what they learned from members while door-knocking.

Though the institute ends tomorrow, the focus on organizing for locals here in Connecticut continues. Local leaders who have held one-on-one conversations with members have found them to be a very effective way to gather information, identify teachers’ concerns, and ultimately effect positive change for members.

If your local Association is interested in organizing training, or any other training from CEA, contact your local president or UniServ Representative.

Students and Teachers Biggest Losers in Budget Crisis: Legislators Urged to Pass a Budget That Invests in Education

Cutting school programs, laying off teachers and administrators, diminishing resources, and increasing class sizes. These are just some of the...

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Resources for Responding to Acts of Racism and Hate

Our students will be back in school in a few short weeks and some will have questions and anxiety about what happened in Charlottesville. Here are some resources for responding to incidents of hateful words, actions, and images and making sure your students feel welcome, supported, and valued. Read more

Torrington Engages Families in Preparation for New School Year

Torrington Education Association Vice President Veronica Gelormino and building rep Ashlee Casko talk to students and parents at last night’s Torrington Schools meet-and-greet. Photo courtesy Ben Lambert / Hearst Connecticut Media.

While we might not feel ready for it just yet, the start of the new school year is right around the corner. Districts, educators, and students are all preparing in their own ways—and in Torrington the district has taken a collaborative approach.

Town residents came out to Coe Memorial Park last night for a meet-and-greet held by the Torrington Public Schools to share information and offer summer fun to students.

The event was designed to foster community involvement and let residents know what is happening in each of the district’s schools. Read more about the event here.

Does your district have any back-to-school events planned for students and/or families?

New at Summer Leadership: Mini Sessions


Cheshire 30-year veteran teacher Tracy Ajello and Torrington teacher Michael McCotter, entering his fourth year, practice broaching tough topics in the mini session Difficult Discussions.

Sometimes good things come in small packages—and that was the case on the final day of CEA’s 2017 Summer Leadership Conference. Day 3 featured a packed morning and afternoon of 90-minute workshops on a wide range of topics, including student debt, teacher evaluations, educator autonomy, culturally competent schools, adult learning theory, engaging members in political campaigns, trauma-informed practices, legal rights in the special education process, Section 504, and more.

“It’s my first time at Summer Leadership, and I just came for the day of mini sessions,” said North Haven teacher Jennifer Frederick. “I’m especially interested in new laws and policies affecting our classrooms. As a regular education teacher with special education students in my classroom, I’m also seeking support in that area as well as using Google apps in my classroom—which is covered in one of the sessions I signed up for.” Read more

Building Connections, Strength at CEA Summer Leadership


Carrie and Joseph Cassady (who teach in Torrington, CT and Rhode Island respectively) met at the NEA RA five years ago.

In her opening remarks at the 2017 CEA Summer Leadership Conference, President Sheila Cohen told a packed ballroom, “All of you represent the equalizers in our society, the igniting sparks of innovation and creativity, and the social justice warriors of our nation. You make a difference. You are teachers.”

On this, day two of the annual conference, Cohen’s hundreds of warriors continued enriching their professional development for the classroom, expanding their skills on union issues, and building and renewing relationships with their colleagues across the state—and in some cases, across the state border. Read more

CEA-Retired Member’s Work Highlighted by NEA

NEA Today is featuring retired educators who are still making a difference—and one of those highlighted is Connecticut’s own Jon-Paul Roden. A former CEA-Retired president, Roden was recently elected to his second term on the NEA-Retired Executive Council.

Read about Roden’s continuing contributions to the teaching profession below.

Jon-Paul Roden
Computer Science Teacher, Vernon, Connecticut

When Jon-Paul Roden started teaching in 1965, he needed to take on a second job to help supplement his income. This side job, along with others, made him eligible for Social Security benefits when he retired in 2000. His colleagues who didn’t take outside work and had only teaching pensions were left without a Social Security benefit, and most importantly, the Medicare Part B coverage. Read more

Charter Discriminates, Penalizes Needy Public School Children

Bridgeport teachers, reflecting the concerns of the city’s parents, students, and board of education, testified at a recent State Board of Education hearing on the need to protect public school funds from charter school expansion.

The following op-ed by CEA President Sheila Cohen appeared in the print edition of the Hartford Courant, July 30, 2017. 

Every parent and student in Connecticut should be outraged over the continued lack of oversight and special benefits provided to charter schools in Connecticut — to the detriment of more than 500,000 students in the state’s public school system. Many charter schools management corporations are profiting off our children while draining critical traditional public school funds and threatening to diminish the quality of public education.

Recent newspaper reports uncovered improper admissions procedures at Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, founded by Steve Perry, who also runs Capital Preparatory Harbor Charter School in Bridgeport. A state audit found that Capital Prep in Hartford violated state admission procedures and cherry-picked students. But the state has not conducted an audit of Perry’s Capital Preparatory Harbor Charter School in Bridgeport, nor has it done anything to require transparency to protect the state’s vital education dollars. Read more

Connecticut Teachers Graduate School Fair

This fall, join Connecticut universities and colleges to explore their graduate programs, and to learn more about the new professional certification requirements with representatives from the state, CEA, and AFT-CT.

This free event for Connecticut teachers will take place Saturday, October 14, 2017 from 09:00 AM until 12:00 PM at Wesleyan University.

Click here to register and receive more information.