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Posts from the ‘Education news’ Category

Supporting Muslim Students: What Educators Need to Know

Speaker Shazia Chaudhry, co-facilitator of the Anti-Defamation League’s Muslim-Jewish Dialogue Group, provides an explanation of the Muslim religion to open the conference.

Teacher Kerstin Rao believes ignorance is toxic.

Rao, a teacher at Bedford Middle School in Westport, spent a recent evening educating herself at a special conference on how to help students and families who face challenges because of their faith.

The event—“Supporting Muslim Students and Families: What Every Educator Needs to Know,” held at the University of Bridgeport—attracted over 50 educators, including CEA members, students, and family members. Hosted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the University of Bridgeport in collaboration with the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, the Connecticut State Department of Education, and the Connecticut Council for the Social Studies, the event focused on addressing the issues Muslims face in our current national climate.

“The challenge is to get out of the bubble. I want to learn how to be a better ally,” Rao said at the conference. Read more

Continued Teacher Advocacy a Must

Teachers have been speaking out forcefully against plans to shift the cost of teacher pensions onto cities and towns and raise property taxes, saying such plans would unfairly burden local taxpayers and lead to cuts in education and other essential services.

Yesterday it seemed that lawmakers on a key legislative committee were poised to respond to their constituents’ concerns and pass a budget that would maintain the state’s responsibility to fund retirement costs. At the last minute, budget talks fell apart however, and the Appropriations Committee did not approve a budget. Read more

East Hartford Teacher Helps Students, Families, and Faculty Commit to Stay Fit

A group from last year’s Commit to Stay Fit program in East Hartford.

Leading into May—National Physical Fitness and Sports Month—the last week of April is Every Kid Healthy Week, which shines a spotlight on students’ health and wellness and the link between nutrition, physical activity, and learning.

“Healthy kids are better prepared to learn,” says Monique Butler, a fifth-grade teacher and building rep at O’Brien Elementary STEM School in East Hartford, which kicks off its own celebration this Wednesday with Commit to Stay Fit: Children and Families. The program, now in its seventh year, promotes wellness, good nutrition, and exercise habits. Read more

An Open Letter to State Legislators

“Increasing property taxes for residents is not the comprehensive solution Connecticut needs to balance the state budget. We need a budget that works for all of us,” a coalition of ten organizations, which includes CEA, has written legislators.

Proposals to balance the state budget by shifting costs to cities and towns don’t sit well with Connecticut voters. The coalition of education organizations and groups representing cities and towns is urging legislators to reject these proposals.

Join us. Contact your legislators.

Tell your legislators to oppose any plans that will shift the cost of teacher retirement contributions from the state to cities and towns. A cost shift will lead to higher local property taxes and cuts to much-needed services in our communities.

Read the coalition’s open letter to legislators.

Raise Property Taxes? Coalition, Voters Say ‘No’

Speaking out at a town hall press conference in West Hartford, a statewide coalition of eight diverse associations, including CEA, called on legislators to avoid shifting the state’s financial obligations onto cities and towns.

Read more

More County Forums Next Week: Come and Talk to Your Legislators

North Haven teacher and local president Tom Marak talked to his legislators recently in Hamden.

With a proposed state budget that would divide Connecticut’s school districts into winners and losers and saddle towns with one-third of the cost of their teachers’ pensions, it’s vital that legislators hear loud and clear from CEA members.

It’s especially important to speak to your legislators now as some are considering a dangerous plan that would divert funding from local neighborhood schools

Make sure your legislators know where you stand. Forums for teachers who live or work in Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex, and New London Counties are scheduled for next week.

Email the contact for your county (see below) to attend a forum near you.

Read more

Tell Your Legislators: Don’t Pass the Buck on Our Pensions

Legislators have begun to seriously consider numerous proposals, including the governor’s, to burden local cities and towns with the state obligation to fund teacher pensions.

Municipalities only have one way to raise revenue, so this cost shift would force towns to either raise local property taxes and/or cut local public education funding—leading to larger class sizes, loss of teaching positions, and fewer vital resources for students. Read more

Mastery Test Scores Eliminated From Teacher Evaluations

The State Board of Education (SBOE) showed its commitment to students and teachers by voting to remove state mastery test results from teacher evaluations.

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Teachers Stand Up for Public Education; Talk Priorities with Legislators



CEA President Sheila Cohen addressed hundreds of teachers who came to the CEA Hartford County Forum Monday night to speak with legislators. 

Hundreds of teachers at CEA County Forums throughout the state are speaking directly to local legislators about issues impacting education—including funding for public schools, teacher healthcare, and retirement. With a proposed state budget that would divide Connecticut’s school districts into winners and losers and saddle towns with one-third of the cost of their teachers’ pensions, CEA members and leaders are taking their concerns to their elected officials.

Legislators are hearing firsthand from teachers in their districts about how proposed cuts in funding are eliminating teacher positions and school programs—to the detriment of students. Read more

Retired Teachers Meet Face to Face With Legislators to Discuss Policy Issues

CEA-Retired Legislative Committee Co-Chairs Myles Cohen and Karen O’Connell.

“I find it’s important to stay involved in our Association and pay it forward,” said John Battista, one of nearly 200 retired Connecticut educators who converged on the Legislative Office Building this week for Retired Teachers Lobby Day. The event, a joint effort of CEA-Retired, the Association of Retired Teachers of Connecticut (ARTC), and AFT Connecticut, brought longtime educators and their elected officials face to face to discuss issues important to both retired and active teachers.

Battista, a former physical education teacher in Westbrook, said, “I wasn’t an advocate early in my career, but over time I developed a passion for the issues critical to active and retired teachers. Teachers are the most important part of our economy. I want to see our profession lifted up to where it should be. ” Read more