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Posts from the ‘National Politics’ Category

Supreme Court Strikes Down Gorsuch Ruling on Special Education Funding: Decision Could Impact CCJEF Appeal

Last week, in the midst of a hearing on Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, the justices on that very court issued a unanimous decision that rejected one of Judge Gorsuch’s rulings against students with disabilities, and repudiated his reasoning in the case.

The decision came in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District RE-1 and resolved a conflict among lower courts as to the level of educational benefits a school must provide to students with disabilities covered by the IDEA. Written by Chief Judge Roberts, the decision resoundingly rejected the “merely . . . more than de minimis” Gorsuch standard, holding that a school must offer those students an individualized education program (IEP) that is “reasonably calculated” to enable a student “to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.” Read more

Statement from CEA President Sheila Cohen on Senate Approval of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education

devos-cartoonWe thank all our teachers, parents, and the public for their tireless efforts—the rallies, the flood of phone calls, and the deluge of emails—in opposition to Betsy DeVos as secretary of education.

While the odds were not in our favor and we are certainly disappointed with the outcome, we succeeded in raising the level of public opposition to DeVos and her anti-public education schemes to new heights. Read more

Senators Murphy and Blumenthal to Vote ‘No’ on DeVos Confirmation

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy talked with a room full of teachers on Friday about his opposition to Betsy DeVos' nomination.

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy talked with a room full of teachers on Friday about his opposition to Betsy DeVos’ nomination.

Teachers have been calling and emailing their senators in unprecedented numbers, and those senators are taking notice.

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy told the more than 100 teachers who joined him in New Haven Friday afternoon that his office has received an incredible 13,000 calls in opposition to Betsy DeVos’ nomination for U.S. Secretary of Education.

“Teachers are known for being great listeners,” said one educator in the crowd. “But we feel like there’s a nominee for Secretary of Education who’s not listening.” Read more

Teachers Continue Push Against DeVos on Last Day Before Committee Vote

North Haven High School teacher Tom Marak talked with Senator Richard Blumenthal about his oppostion to DeVos' nomination today.

North Haven High School teacher Tom Marak and Senator Richard Blumenthal talked about their opposition to DeVos’ nomination as education secretary today.

Odds may not be in their favor, but teachers are continuing to stand strong against the nomination of Betsy Devos for U.S. secretary of education. The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee is scheduled to vote tomorrow morning on DeVos’ nomination, and yesterday teachers held rallies in cities around the country urging senators to vote no.

Today in Hartford, North Haven teacher and local Association president Tom Marak met with Senator Richard Blumenthal and explained why he thinks DeVos is the wrong choice to head the department of education. Read more

President Trump Says Education System Leaves Students ‘Deprived of All Knowledge’

trump-at-inaugurationSurprising many education observers, President Donald Trump mentioned public schools during his inaugural address today—but not in a way that pleased students, parents, or teachers.

Saying that “Americans want great schools for their children,” Trump went on to describe the nation’s current education system as one “flush with cash but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge.”

“Flush with cash” is not the way most parents and teachers would describe their local schools. Read more

Tell Your Senators: Confirmation Hearing Proves DeVos Lacks Experience, Knowledge


Betsy DeVos, President-Elect Trump’s nominee for secretary of education, appeared before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee January 17, 2017.

Will Trump’s pick for secretary of education keep public schools public and maintain education funding? Betsy DeVos wasn’t willing to make any promises when questioned by the ranking Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee during her confirmation hearing last night.

“Can you commit that you will not work to privatize public schools or cut a single penny for public education?” Washington Senator Patty Murray asked. Read more

Contact Members of Congress: DeVos Wrong Choice to Lead Dept. of Education

img_bdevosConfirmation hearings for Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. secretary of education, begin Wednesday, January 11.

Urge members of Congress who will be voting on DeVos’ nomination not to approve her for this position for these and other key reasons: Read more

Demand a Secretary of Education Who Supports High-Quality Public Schools for Every Student

devosTeachers have been disappointed and frustrated, though not surprised, by President-elect Trump’s nomination of Betsy DeVos for U.S. secretary of education. With this nomination, the nation is entering dangerous, uncharted territory.

NEA, in partnership with AFT, has organized a call to action so that you can share your concerns.

Add your name to join with educators, parents, students, and all public education supporters to say: These are our values, and I demand that our secretary of education and every elected official respect and uphold this vision for high-quality public schools for every single student.

Read the letter, then add your name: Commit to student success.

ESSA and Federal Funding Focus of Education Committee Forum

Education Committee Co-Chairs Rep. Andrew Fleischmann and Senator Gayle Slossberg.

Education Committee Co-Chairs Rep. Andrew Fleischmann and Senator Gayle Slossberg.

While the election of Donald Trump raises many questions about the future of public education, state Department of Education officials remained cautiously optimistic yesterday that the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) signed into law last year will allow Connecticut schools to move in a positive direction.

“This is truly a historic opportunity in public education,” Commissioner of Education Dianna Wentzell told members of the legislature’s Education Committee at an ESSA forum yesterday.

The State Department of Education (SDE) is in the process of getting input from a variety of stakeholders on how this largest of federal laws that governs public education will be implemented. The Education Committee is the latest group to offer its feedback. Read more

Teaching After the Election

_mg_4432Students are feeling and sharing strong emotions as they process the outcome of the presidential election. Teachers are hearing from students excited about Trump’s win and from those who are upset or scared for themselves, their families, or their friends.

Educators often take on the responsibility of fostering tolerance and acceptance of differences among students and making sure every child feels safe. Read more