During his State of the State address today Governor Ned Lamont made a series of pledges aimed at increasing support for Connecticut’s students, families, and teachers and continuing to build on the strides the state has made over the last year.
“Our budget provided predictability to those counting on it most,” he said, adding, “I have heard from school principals, city and town leaders, small businesses and families, all saying, ‘Finally, we can now plan for our future.’” The budget, he noted, made Connecticut’s largest-ever investment in K-12 education, reducing some of the burden on cities and towns and providing teachers with more of the resources they need. Read more
Jahana Hayes may be a Congresswoman now but she still considers herself first and foremost a teacher. The former Waterbury teacher and 2016 National Teacher of the Year met with CEA members from Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District recently in Danbury and shared her journey to becoming a U.S. Representative as well as her priorities in Washington.
CEA President Jeff Leake, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes, NEA-Danbury EMAC Chair Luanelly Iglesias, CEA Organizer Herman Whitter, NEA-Danbury President Erin Daly, and NEA-Danbury Vice President Thomas Ross.
Running for Congress had never been in Hayes’ plans, she told the more than 70 teachers gathered at Anthony’s Lake Club in Danbury, until the opportunity suddenly presented itself and she realized the potential the position had to serve educators and further their interests. It was the connections she had with fellow teachers, here in Connecticut and around the nation, that led to her Congressional victory.
Once in Congress Hayes realized that, despite her many years as a teacher, the odds were stacked against her when it came to getting a seat on the House Committee on Education and Labor. As a first-year Congresswoman, she found those with more seniority had priority when it came to committee appointments. Read more
This Saturday, December 14 at 10 a.m., NEA is co-hosting a public education forum with presidential candidates focused on economic, racial, and social justice.
Sen. Michael Bennet, Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Cory Booker, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren will sit down to answer questions from educators, parents, and students about how they’re going to support strong public schools.
If you could ask these 2020 presidential candidates one question, what would it be? Click here to submit it. »
NEA is teaming up with organizations like AROS, NAACP, AFT, Voto Latino and many more for this public education forum so you can hear directly from candidates about where they stand on issues affecting educators, students, and their families.
NEA’s goal is to understand the issues and candidate qualities that matter most to educators, to make sure the voices of public education advocates are heard often throughout this presidential campaign.
Your voice matters and these presidential candidates need to hear from you. Submit your question today and it just might get asked at the Dec. 14 public education forum. »
CEA President Jeff Leake joined State Treasurer Shawn Wooden, AFT-Connecticut, and gun violence prevention advocates for a press conference announcing the treasurer’s new Responsible Gun Policy—a plan that includes divesting state pension funds from irresponsible gun manufacturers. Annually in Connecticut, the cost of gun violence averages $1.2 billion and claims 180 lives.
CEA President Jeff Leake (at right) says teachers applaud State Treasurer Shawn Wooden’s (fifth from right) new policy to divest state pension funds from irresponsible gun manufacturers.
The new policy aims to divest Connecticut’s pension funds for teachers and state employees from civilian firearms manufacturing companies and prohibits future investments, with flexibility to invest in gun safe technologies. It also encourages companies to adopt safe gun policies, requests financial institutions that wish to work with the Office of the Treasurer to disclose their policies on guns, and seeks to partner with and promote good corporate behavior on safe gun policies.
“Teachers applaud the treasurer for taking these steps to reduce gun violence in our communities,” said CEA President Jeff Leake. “Treasurer Wooden’s decisions involve billions in investments, and we are pleased he is choosing to use the power of those decisions to promote responsible gun policies.” Read more
Municipal elections are taking place in towns across Connecticut tomorrow, and candidates for Board of Education, Town Council, and Board of Finance are all on the ballot. Make sure your voice is heard!
Want to see what the ballot in your town will look like?
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.
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. Read more
CEA-Retired President William Murray introduced State Treasurer Shawn Wooden, a speaker at today’s CEA-Retired fall conference.
“As you know, many groups out there in the wider world, don’t like unions but they also don’t like pensions. They’re out to cut down pensions and undermine them in whatever way they can,” CEA Executive Director Donald Williams told CEA-Retired members at their annual fall conference this morning.
Luckily Connecticut active and retired teachers understand how important it is to have their voices heard in the political process and turned out in record numbers for last year’s state elections—electing many pro-public education candidates, including State Treasurer Shawn Wooden, one of the speakers at today’s conference.
“Last year we elected a treasurer who successfully fought to reamortize the Connecticut Teachers’ Retirement Fund while preserving pension benefits,” said CEA-Retired President William Murray. Read more
Connecticut Congressman Joe Courtney has been fighting for a decade to repeal a tax on health care plans. His bill overwhelmingly passed the House this week.
This week the U.S. House of Representatives voted 419-6 to approve Congressman Joe Courtney’s Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act of 2019. This bill would do away with a looming tax on higher-cost health care plans that would disproportionately affect those in high cost of living areas and groups with higher percentages of women, people with families, and older employees.
“Teachers have continued to accept salary freezes and cuts in order to save their health care coverage,” says CEA President Jeff Leake. “This tax would be devastating for educators, and we thank Congressman Courtney for his advocacy.” Read more
Dr. Miguel Cardona and CEA President Jeff Leake.
The State Board of Education today voted to recommend Dr. Miguel Cardona, assistant superintendent of schools for teaching and learning in Meriden, to serve as the next commissioner of the Connecticut State Department of Education. Cardona, a former fourth grade teacher who is bilingual, has served alongside CEA leaders on several statewide committees.
“The Connecticut Education Association applauds the appointment of Dr. Miguel Cardona as Connecticut’s Education Commissioner,” says CEA President Jeff Leake. “We have worked with Dr. Cardona in our efforts to establish cultures of professional learning and support in our local districts. Our experience with him indicates that he will be an energetic, progressive, and collaborative leader, sensitive to the needs of urban districts and students but mindful of the needs of all of Connecticut’s students and districts. We are looking forward to working with him to achieve equity and excellence for all Connecticut students by reducing racial, ethnic, and economic disparities in all of Connecticut’s school districts.” Read more
Bridgeport teacher Michael Brosnan testified before joint Congressional subcommittees today.
Bridgeport is Connecticut’s largest school district, serving more than 23,0000 students, but the Bridgeport Public Schools have an annual teacher attrition rate of 10-12 percent. Today Bridgeport teacher and early leadership institute coach Michael Brosnan told members of Congress that, “While welcoming fresh faces each year, or in the middle of each year, was certainly a pleasure, it did little for school stability or student achievement.”
Brosnan was speaking at a joint hearing of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education and the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Investment titled Educating our Educators: How Federal Policy Can Better Support Teachers and School Leaders.
“We’re plagued by perpetual underfunding and that means we face many obstacles. Recruiting teachers and retaining them is one of them,” Brosnan said. Read more