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Posts from the ‘Politics’ Category

Treasurer Details State’s History of Underfunding Teacher Retirement

As it decides what recommendations to make toward putting Connecticut’s pension funds on more secure footing, the state’s Pension Sustainability Commission today heard from State Treasurer Denise Nappier about the history of funding for the teachers’ retirement fund, the largest pension fund overseen by the treasury.

State Treasurer Denise Nappier and staff for the Office of the State Treasurer presented to the state’s Pension Sustainability Commission today.

“We must ensure the sustainability of the fund so that it can provide the retirement benefits we have promised to our retired and current teachers,” Nappier said. “They deserve no less.” Read more

Pro-Education Candidates Sweep Connecticut’s Midterms

Thanks in large part to teachers who were determined to make their voices heard and their votes matter, pro-education candidates chalked up significant victories in yesterday’s midterm elections.

Major wins were scored in the state senate and house as well as in a close gubernatorial race, where education advocate Ned Lamont defeated a challenger whose agenda favored privatization of schools, caps on teacher salaries, anti-union initiatives, and an unrealistic economic plan that threatened to decimate school budgets.

“Teachers made a decisive contribution to these positive outcomes—because they were engaged and informed,” said CEA President Jeff Leake. Read more

Hayes Is in the House

"This history teacher is making history," 2016 National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes told her supporters at a victory celebration in Waterbury last night. "I am honored to be your next congresswoman."

Read more

Remember to Flip Your Ballot Tomorrow!

When Connecticut voters in 23 towns head out to vote tomorrow they’ll find some electoral races missing from the front side of their ballot. That’s because the large number of state and national elections taking place tomorrow has caused some towns to print a two-sided ballot.

Make sure your voice is heard in every race, and flip your ballot.

Want to see what the ballot in your town will look like tomorrow?

Not sure where to go to vote?

Polls will be open 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. tomorrow. If you still need to register to vote, you can do so by going to your town hall tomorrow.

And if you’re still deciding who to vote for, check out where the candidates stand on education issues at cea.org/reportcard.

Only 4 Days Until Election Day! Are You Ready?

Election Day is right around the corner. If you’re still deciding who to vote for, check out where the candidates stand on education issues at cea.org/reportcard.

Polls will be open 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. on November 6. If you still need to register to vote, you can go to your town hall on Election Day—just don’t wait until 7:58!

Not sure where to go to vote? You can look up your polling place here.

You can preview exactly what and who will be on your town’s ballet by looking at a sample ballot.

Below, watch CEA Vice President Tom Nicholas and CEA President Jeff Leake explain why it’s so important to vote this Election Day.

Actuary Sets Record Straight on Teacher Pensions

Misconceptions abound when it comes to teachers’ pensions, but today, in a presentation to the Pension Sustainability Commission, an actuary clarified that Connecticut teachers’ pension benefits are actually quite modest.

The Connecticut Pension Sustainability Commission is charged with studying “the feasibility of placing state capital assets in a trust and maximizing those assets for the sole benefit of the state pension system.”

John Garrett, principal and consulting actuary at Cavanaugh Macdonald Consulting, shared findings from the March 2018 report of the Connecticut Teachers’ Retirement System Viability Commission.

Garrett compared Connecticut with 11 other state retirement systems that cover pension benefits to teachers who do not receive social security. “Connecticut has a fairly modest benefit when you look at other non-Social Security covered workforces,” he said. Read more

Joe Biden Comes to Connecticut, Campaigns for Education Candidates

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Former Vice President Joe Biden hits the campaign trail for Connecticut’s pro-education, pro-union candidates.

In a rousing speech at Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy in Hartford, where a rally was held this afternoon for gubernatorial hopeful Ned Lamont, former Vice President Joe Biden urged Connecticut voters to cast their ballots for pro-union, pro-education candidates. Read more

NEA, CEA Members and Leaders Support Jahana Hayes

With less than four weeks left until Election Day, dozens of CEA members, staff, and leaders—joined by NEA Vice President Becky Pringle—came out to Danbury this weekend in a show of support for 2016 National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes, who is running for office in Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District.

Congressional candidate Jahana Hayes, a former Waterbury teacher, is championed by NEA Vice President Becky Pringle and CEA President Jeff Leake.

“Everything is at stake,” Hayes told the crowd, referring to mounting threats to public education and teachers’ rights to bargain for fair wages and working conditions. “I represent a lot of people—the voices of a lot of people—who are saying, ‘No, we will not accept this. No, this is not O.K. This has to change, and we will not be forgotten.’ And there’s so much responsibility in that.”

Pringle, a middle school science teacher with 31 years of classroom experience, captured the current education struggle with the words of W.E.B. Dubois, who said, “The freedom to learn has been bought by bitter sacrifice. So whatever you might think about the curtailment of other civil rights, you must fight to the last ditch to keep open the right to learn.” Read more

Will Connecticut Open Two New Charters? Now It’s Up to Legislators

Representatives from the Danbury Prospect Charter School discuss their proposal with the State Board of Education.

The State Board of Education today voted to give preliminary approval to two new charter schools, but those charters can only open if they can convince legislators to fund them.

In past years, charter schools that had applications approved by the State Board of Education went forward and enrolled students before receiving funding from the state, pressuring legislators into providing the funding. The legislature has since made it clear that that process is unacceptable and that no students can be enrolled until a school is funded.

CEA President Jeff Leake spoke out against the charter school applications at today’s meeting, saying, “CEA believes that charter schools should be non-profit, publicly accountable, transparent, and operate without diverting public funds from neighborhood public schools or to third-party management organizations.” Read more

CEA Report Card Measures Legislative Candidates’ Support for Public Education

The Connecticut Education Association today released its first-ever Legislator Report Card that evaluates legislative candidates’ overall support for issues important to students, teachers, and public education. CEA’s new report card recognizes legislators who are committed to giving students more opportunities for success and are working hard to improve public education and the teaching profession in Connecticut.

The report card evaluates legislators’ voting records, as well as their advocacy and efforts to advance CEA priorities over the past two-year legislative cycle. These priorities include funding public education, preserving collective bargaining, enhancing the teaching profession, protecting the pension system, keeping schools safe, upholding teacher certification standards, and supporting sound education policy.

“Unfortunately, when it comes to public education and teachers’ rights, many legislators took actions in the wrong direction and earned less-than-stellar grades,” said CEA President Jeff Leake. “This new report card system is transparent and holds candidates accountable. It informs our members of the candidates’ positions on key issues and highlights those who want to help our students and teachers, and those who are doing harm to them.” Read more