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Posts from the ‘Politics’ Category

It’s National Voter Registration Day—Are You Registered?

Millions of Americans miss out on the opportunity to vote every year because they don’t meet deadlines or don’t know how to register. National Voter Registration Day attempts to right this wrong and make sure every person who is eligible to vote and wants to do so is registered.

National Voter Registration Day is a nonpartisan effort focused on our right as citizens to vote and have our voices heard. If you aren’t registered, or you know someone who isn’t, please check out the information below.

How to register to vote in Connecticut

You can register to vote online if you have a current and valid driver’s license, learner’s permit, or non-driver photo identification card issued by the CT Department of Motor Vehicles.

You can use the online system to (1) register to vote in Connecticut, (2) change your name and/or address if you’ve moved within a town, or (3) enroll in a political party or change party enrollment (changing parties may result in losing rights in all parties for three months).

If you move, you must re-register to vote in person in your new town of residence. Read more

CEA Advocates for Improved Classroom Safety Bill

CEA Program Development Specialist Robyn Kaplan-Cho and CEA Executive Director Donald Williams serve on the Classroom Safety Working Group

At its second meeting today, the classroom safety working group continued an ongoing discussion seeking to come to agreement on language for a bill that could be raised by the General Assembly in 2019.

The group, which was created after Governor Malloy vetoed a classroom safety bill that had resoundingly passed the state House and Senate last spring, has been offering feedback on a new draft bill authored by CEA.

CEA Executive Director Donald Williams reminded group members of the critical nature of their task.

“The Connecticut General Assembly last legislative session heard extensive testimony from teachers about the increase in problematic student behaviors that are causing harm to other students and teachers,” Williams said. Read more

Connecticut Teachers Wear #RedForEd in Solidarity With Arizona

Teachers around Connecticut are wearing Red For Ed today in support of our Arizona colleagues who have requested we observe today as national #RedForEd day.

This day of solidarity is in reaction to the unprecedented decision by the Arizona State Supreme Court to remove the Invest In ED ballot measure from the November ballot. This measure, if enacted, would have raised nearly $700 million for Arizona’s badly underfunded public schools.

Thank you to those of you who have already shared your #RedForEd photos—and if you haven’t yet, there’s still time.

Visit the CEA Facebook page and add your photos.

Here are some of the photos your Connecticut colleagues have already shared today.

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Commission Explores Method to Shrink State’s Unfunded Pension Liability

CEA Retirement Specialist Robyn Kaplan-Cho is serving on the state’s Pension Sustainability Commission to represent teachers.

The state’s unfunded pension liability will surely be discussed at length this election season, but a state commission created by the legislature is already at work this summer exploring ways to address the problem.

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.”

CEA Retirement Specialist Robyn Kaplan-Cho serves on the commission, representing teachers. “Placing a state asset, such as the Connecticut lottery, into the Teachers’ Retirement Fund would dramatically reduce the state’s unfunded liability. That would allow the state to reduce its yearly payment into the fund since there would be less unfunded liability to pay off,” she says. Read more

Teachers Rally for One of Their Own

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At a rally this weekend, Jahana Hayes thanks teachers and other union members for their support. For more rally photos, visit CEA’s Flickr page.

Chanting “Labor is your neighbor,” dozens of union members—including fellow educators—gathered on the Meriden town green Saturday to show their support for teacher-turned-Congressional-candidate Jahana Hayes. Hayes is vying for the House seat in Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District.

A former Waterbury educator and Connecticut Teacher of the Year, Hayes was named National Teacher of the Year in 2016 and spent the following year traveling across the country, advocating on behalf of public education, and listening to educators, administrators, community leaders, and others about issues that impact students, families, and communities.

“Jahana is a strong champion and advocate for Connecticut students and teachers,” said CEA President Jeff Leake. “She has overcome numerous challenges and has taken every opportunity to improve her own life and the lives of others. She is exactly the type of person we need fighting for all of us in Congress.” Read more

Legislators Fail Students and Teachers on Classroom Safety, Supports for At-Risk Students

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Legislators failed to protect students and teachers—and lost the best chance Connecticut has had to increase classroom safety for all students and reduce discriminatory discipline for students of color and special education students—when they failed today to override Governor Malloy’s veto of the classroom safety bill.

“It is truly disheartening that legislators and the governor denied protections for the safety of students and teachers, and proactive supports to help students who cause physical injury to others,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “The only way to end the school-to-prison pipeline is to take actions that hold administrators accountable for ensuring that students receive the resources they need. We are disappointed that legislators, who passed this bill with overwhelming bipartisan support, failed to override the governor’s veto and enact this bill into law.”

Read more

Heartless Assault on Immigrants Must Stop

The following op-ed by CEA President Sheila Cohen was published by CTNewsJunkie today.

Border crisis FBWe’ve all seen the heartbreaking scenes of parents being arrested along our country’s southern border as their sobbing and traumatized children are stripped from their mothers’ protective arms and taken away by border patrol agents. These children were sent to detention facilities that look like prisons, complete with chain-link fencing and locked gates.

Aptly described as “government-sanctioned child abuse,” these actions cause severe, irreparable harm to children. This is not a political issue. This is a moral crisis. This is cruel and inhumane treatment. This is not the America I know—the land of the free and the home of the brave. This undermines the values of our diverse and welcoming nation. It destroys the fabric of our democracy and tarnishes our nation’s legacy of freedom and justice for all. Read more

Legislators Need to Hear from You

Thanks to the many teachers who reached out and shared their stories with lawmakers, the House and Senate overwhelmingly passed SB 453, An Act Concerning Classroom Safety and Disruptive Behavior.

Unfortunately, the fight is not over. Governor Malloy has vetoed the bill, based on false information and a misrepresentation of the facts.

Your legislators need to hear from you—especially if they have not heard from you yet. This is our last chance to persuade lawmakers to override the governor’s veto. Without your calls to action, this bill will die, and students will lose the best chance they had to get the help they need before it’s too late.

Help set the record straight. Give your legislators the facts and ask for their support in overriding the governor’s veto.

CLICK HERE to contact your legislators one last time on this important issue.

CLICK HERE to contact legislative leaders.

CEA Running Radio Ad Urging Veto Override

CEA is urging legislators, who overwhelmingly supported and passed An Act Concerning Classroom Safety and Disruptive Student Behavior, to override the governor’s veto.

Without an override, Governor Malloy’s veto ensures that more youth will wind up in the criminal justice system rather than having their problems and needs addressed in a proactive manner.

Listen to a CEA radio ad now on the air.

 

And then contact your legislators and urge them to override the veto to ensure safe classrooms for all students and teachers.

Visit cea.org/overrideveto for more information.

Contact Your Legislators Today: Urge Them to Override the Governor’s Veto

Please contact your legislators and urge them to override the governor’s veto of SB 453, An Act Concerning Classroom Safety and Disruptive Behavior, now called Public Act 18-89.

The bill

  • Enhances classroom safety for all students and teachers
  • Provides appropriate support, not punitive discipline, for students who harm others
  • Reduces discriminatory discipline and discourages the school-to-prison pipeline
  • Complies with and does not preempt the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Click here to contact your legislators right now.

Watch how Manchester Education Association President Kate Dias explained to Channel 30 why students and teachers need SB 453.