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Posts from the ‘Politics’ Category

Legislators Need to Hear from You: No Cost Shift

Legislators are still considering a proposal to shift the cost of teacher retirement onto cities and towns—and they need to hear from you. If this plan passes there will be less money for our schools, higher property taxes (especially in middle-income towns and Alliance districts), and districts with more experienced teachers will be penalized.

Contact your legislators now and tell them: NO Cost Shift

 

 

Legislators Need to Hear from Teachers on Classroom Safety Bill

An important bill that would improve classroom safety and school climate is facing a deadline for action in the Appropriations Committee.

Please urge your legislators to act and make our classrooms safe places to learn and teach.

Click here to contact your legislators if they serve on the Appropriations Committee.

Click here to send a message to any legislator.

 

Connecticut Receives $100 Million Donation to Serve Disengaged Youth

Surrounded by hundreds of East Hartford High School students, Governor Lamont today announced that Dalio Philanthropies has committed $100 million to strengthening public education and promoting greater economic opportunity in Connecticut that will, over five years, be matched by $100 million from the state and $100 million from other philanthropists and business leaders.

Governor Lamont addressed the hundreds of high school students and many visitors assembled at East Hartford High School this morning to hear his announcement.

“If you believe in the future of Connecticut, you invest in the future of Connecticut, and we invest in each and every one of you,” Governor Lamont told the high school students. “You’ve got an amazing building, you’ve got a great principal, you’ve got some of the greatest teachers in the world right here at East Hartford High. Let’s give a hand for the teachers. They work their hearts out every day.”

“I’ve been lucky in my life to be able to live the American Dream,” said Ray Dalio, who came from a middle-class background to found of one of the world’s largest hedge funds. “And what it means most fundamentally is equal opportunity, and most fundamentally equal opportunity in education. When you think, what is the best investment you can make, it has to be in the children’s education and the teachers.”

The partnership between the state and Dalio Philanthropies aims to benefit residents of Connecticut’s under-resourced communities, with a specific focus on communities where there is both a high poverty rate and a high concentration of youth (14-24) who are showing signs of disengagement or disconnection from high school. It will work with local stakeholders to ensure that community voice and input shape programming design and help advance positive outcomes as quickly and sustainably as possible. Read more

Teachers Speak Up, Share Stories With Legislators: Join Them

Teachers have a lot to say on issues from their pensions to classroom safety this legislative session, which is why local associations around Connecticut are meeting with their legislators and making their voices heard.

Hamden Education Association members including President Diane Marinaro, standing at right, had a number of questions for Rep. Mike D’Agostino, Rep. Josh Elliott, Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney, and Senator George Logan.

“Politicians make decisions that affect our students and our profession,” says Hamden Education Association Vice President David Abate. “Sitting back and waiting isn’t a solution. I don’t like politics, but for legislators to know what’s going on in our schools they have to hear from teachers.” Read more

Tell Your Legislators: No Cost Shift

A proposal before the legislature would shift a portion of the state’s teacher pension system costs onto cities and towns. If this plan were to pass, cities and towns would be left with less funding for schools, and teachers’ future salaries and health benefits would be negatively impacted.

Contact your legislators today and urge them to STOP the proposal to shift the state’s responsibility for teacher retirement to our towns.

Under this proposal (Sec. 6 of House Bill 7150), most towns would be responsible for 25 percent of the “normal” retirement costs (i.e. annual retirement costs excluding unfunded liabilities). Towns with higher average pensionable salaries would contribute more, and the 25 least wealthy municipalities would contribute five percent of their associated normal cost.

Click here to see your town. Read more

Hayes Sponsors Legislation Against Arming Teachers

U.S. Congresswoman Jahana Hayes returned to the school in Waterbury where she taught for fifteen years to highlight legislation she has introduced to keep guns out of classrooms.

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Education Community Saddened by Loss of State Representative

CEA sends condolences to the family, friends, and constituents of State Rep. Ezequiel Santiago, who passed away last night. Santiago was a leader in the state’s Latino community. He brought people together around important causes and was a champion of community schools. We will miss his advocacy for and commitment to the people of Bridgeport.

 

Teachers Urge Legislators to Support Community Schools, Minority Teacher Recruitment

Community schools, minority teacher recruitment and retention, the opportunity gap, and school literacy were just some of the issues members of the legislature’s Education Committee heard public input on today.

CEA members, leaders, and staff testified on a number of bills, ensuring teachers’ perspective was heard.

Read more

CEA Raises Concerns about School Regionalization, Teacher Pensions, ECS Changes, and More

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CEA’s Jeff Leake, Kate Field, Orlando Rodriguez, and Ray Rossomando prepare to testify on a number of proposals with major implications for teachers, students, and school communities.

Teachers’ livelihoods and retirement security as well as educational outcomes for students are top priorities for the state’s largest teachers union. That’s why CEA staff and leaders came out to testify before the legislature’s Education Committee about various cost-cutting proposals that threaten those very priorities.

“We are fully aware of the need to right Connecticut’s financial ship,” CEA President Jeff Leake told the committee, “but that cannot be done by expecting local governments to fund the necessary payments into the Teachers’ Retirement System.” Cities and towns, he reminded lawmakers, are still struggling financially, and shifting the state’s responsibility for funding teacher retirement onto municipalities “is not the answer.” He proposed instead that the Connecticut Lottery be placed into the pension fund as a way of smoothing out payments into the TRS and reducing the state’s unfunded liability. Read more

Statement from CEA President Jeff Leake on Governor Lamont’s Budget Address

CEA supports sensible ways of assisting the state in its efforts to make up for decades of underfunding teachers’ retirement, including the governor and treasurer’s plan to smooth out the state’s payments to the fund over a longer period of time and lower the investment earning assumption to a more realistic rate. Teachers have consistently paid their fair share into the fund—while the state has not—and teachers had their payments increase nearly 20 percent last year.

However, we oppose any teacher retirement cost shift that transfers millions in costs from the state to our cities and towns, putting additional financial strain on taxpayers and pressure on already tight school budgets. The plan to shift the cost of teacher retirement contributions onto our cities and towns didn’t sit well with Connecticut taxpayers, legislators, and municipalities in 2017—because it placed additional financial burdens on cities and towns and property owners—and it doesn’t sit well with them today. Read more