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Posts from the ‘Education news’ Category

Wishing You a Great School Year!

Students and teachers are back to school this week in districts around Connecticut. A new year represents a myriad of new opportunities, but also new challenges—and CEA stands with you every step of the way.

Watch this 2019 back-to-school message from Cheshire teacher and CEA President Jeff Leake.

Connecticut Educators Attend Global Event in Thailand Focusing on Access, Equity 

CEA Vice President Tom Nicholas attended the EI World Congress for the second time this summer. It was the sixth World Congress for Greenwich Education Association Vice President Rae Baczek who found it moving to be back in Thailand where she first met her husband who recently passed away.

CEA Vice President Tom Nicholas and Greenwich Education Association Vice President Rae Baczek traveled to Bangkok this summer as part of a National Education Association delegation to the 8th World Congress of Education International (EI). EI is a group of unions representing 32 million educators from around the world whose mission is to improve the status of the teaching profession and advance worldwide achievement of free quality public education for all. The EI World Congress, the supreme decision-making body of Education International, determines the organization’s policies, actions, program, and budget and elects its officers and executive board members.

Fifty U.S. delegates and observers were among nearly 900 educators from more than 170 countries in attendance at the 2019 EI World Congress. The theme of event, which is held every four years, was “Educators and Their Unions Taking the Lead.” Read more

‘We Is Always Better Than Me’: New Education Commissioner Kicks Off School Year

New Connecticut Commissioner of Education Miguel Cardona addressed superintendents and other education stakeholders at an annual back-to-school meeting today in Hartford.

“In a few days, half a million kids will come through our doors. What we provide will be the best chance they have at success in life,” Connecticut’s new Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona told superintendents gathered for a back-to-school meeting this morning.

“Let’s learn together and grow together and give them the best we’ve got,” he continued.

CEA President Jeff Leake, who attended the event at A.I. Prince Technical High School in Hartford along with CEA Executive Director Donald Williams, said he appreciated Cardona’s emphasis on working together and reaching out to the entire education community.

“We’re looking forward to working with Miguel and other stakeholders in the education field to move our state forward,” Leake says. “Teachers do so much to ensure the success of every child, and there is still much to do, especially when it comes to making sure zip codes don’t determine the success of our students.” Read more

How Much Are You Spending on Your Classroom? Take the Survey

Teachers go above and beyond in so many ways—and one of those is the amount you spend each year, out of pocket, on classroom supplies. This back-to-school season, CEA is partnering with NBC Connecticut and AFT Connecticut to find out just how much Connecticut teachers are spending.

Please take the survey today—and share it with other teachers you know.

The survey is completely anonymous unless you choose to submit your name. Simply fill out how much you spend and detail what kind of supplies you purchase. Teachers report spending money on everything from pencils and paper to food to hygiene supplies for students.

Stay tuned by subscribing to BlogCEA, and we’ll share the results when the survey closes. CEA plans to collaborate on other projects and surveys with NBC Connecticut going forward to highlight the vital work going on in our public schools.

Mortgage Assistance Program for Teachers

Are you looking to buy a home? If you’re considering buying in certain districts or you teach in a shortage area, check out the Connecticut Teachers Mortgage Assistance Program.

The Teachers Mortgage Assistance Program offers home loans at below-market interest rates to Connecticut public school teachers. To be eligible for the program, you must be employed as a Connecticut-certified public school teacher or a certified regional vocational-technical teacher. You must also be a first-time homebuyer unless you purchase a home in a federally targeted area.

Click here to find out if you quality for the Teachers Mortgage Assistance Program.

The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority website offers information on this and other mortgage programs.

Yoga, Tai Chi & Teachers

Workshops at the CEA Summer Conference help members learn more about leadership roles in the union and how to improve their craft as education professionals. This year one session also addressed the constant stress many teachers are facing.

“The number one thing that we see when we meet with teachers these days is an incredibly high level of stress,” says CEA UniServ Rep Mike Casey, a co-presenter of the workshop.

CEA UniServ Rep Mike Casey leads members in trying out some yoga poses.

A poll of teachers out this week from PDK found that 50 percent have seriously considered leaving the profession, and one of the top reasons teachers site for wanting to leave is the stress, pressure, and burnout associated with the job. Read more

Teachers Refresh and Reflect at CEA Summer Conference

From negotiations to teacher evaluation to citizen lobbying and much more, more than 500 CEA members took advantage of the opportunity to learn more about their union and their profession at the CEA Summer Conference this Monday and Tuesday.

A large group of Windsor Education Association members attended this year’s CEA Summer Conference.

“Everything was a 10—the professional development was top notch,” says Avon Education Association President Jonathan Moss.

“I am going to be a building rep for the first time this year and came to the Summer Conference for free training on what to do. It was awesome,” says East Windsor teacher Stephanie Schneider. Read more

State Treasurer Applauds Educators, Outlines Teacher Retirement Plan at CEA Summer Conference

Speaking at the CEA Summer Conference, State Treasurer Shawn Wooden tells Connecticut teachers, “A profession as noble as teaching deserves retirement security.”

“A profession as noble as teaching deserves retirement security,” State Treasurer Shawn Wooden told hundreds of Connecticut public school teachers this morning, to resounding applause. “I support you, the hard work you do every day, the strength you bring to the classroom, the minds you are shaping, and the promise of what we are working together to achieve.”

Wooden, whose plan to stabilize Connecticut’s teacher retirement fund was a crucial victory for teachers and taxpayers this past legislative session, gave the keynote address this morning at CEA’s Summer Conference, where more than 500 educators gathered for two days of networking and professional development.

“Thanks to the plan crafted and promoted by State Treasurer Wooden and championed by CEA, the long-term solvency of the teacher retirement fund is secure,” said CEA President Jeff Leake.

“For decades, the state underfunded teacher pensions, putting educators’ retirement at risk, but Treasurer Wooden had the foresight and a sound proposal to set things right for educators today and into the future.”

Leake called upon teachers to continue building relationships with elected officials and others.

“It’s about strengthening our profession and continuing to influence positive change. Our union demands it.” Read more

Join Team CEF at the Hartford Marathon and Save $5 on Race Entry!

Thinking about running on Team CEF at this year’s Hartford Marathon on October 12? Sign up by September 15 to save $5 on race entry, and the Hartford Marathon Foundation will donate $5 to fundraising efforts!

Register with CEF’s official charity promo code, CHARITYCEF19.

CEF, the Connecticut Education Foundation, CEA’s charitable arm, raises money to provide relief for teachers and students facing extraordinary or catastrophic personal circumstances; basic necessities for underprivileged children; and scholarships for young people entering the teaching profession. Read more

Encountering Differences

Five years ago, a small eastern Connecticut community made headlines for all the wrong reasons. When the town, which is 94 percent white, hosted a high school football game, African American students on the other team were greeted with racial taunts.

Jerry Fisher, who is executive director of the Jewish Federation of Eastern Connecticut, was dismayed not only by the hurtful comments but also by the fact that they went unchallenged.

Attorney Lonnie Braxton, shown here having lunch with students, serves on the board of the New London Public Library, where he runs an annual film festival with significant films relating to African-American history. He has visited nearly every site on the Civil Rights Trail.

“I was anxious to do something to rectify the situation,” Fisher says, “to change things and approach the racism that seemed to be inherent in our towns. It wasn’t the students who were the problem,” he adds. “It was the parents. We wanted to address the way those parents were modeling for their children. And that’s how our program was born.” Read more