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Posts from the ‘Politics’ Category

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.

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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

CEA Members, Leaders, Staff Testify Before Black and Puerto Rican Caucus

Teachers, CEA leaders, and staff testified yesterday before the Connecticut General Assembly’s Black and Puerto Rican Caucus on issues critical to teachers this legislative session. These issues included school climate, classroom safety, the persistent shortage of ethnic minority educators, and funding for public schools.

CEA members and staff, including CEA Research and Policy Development Specialist Orlando Rodriguez, CEA Vice President Tom Nicholas, Westport educator Faith Sweeney, community organizer Shamare Holmes Bridgeport teacher Tiffany Ladson-Lang, and Stratford teacher Kristen Record shared CEA priorities with the legislature’s Black and Puerto Rican Caucus yesterday.

“It is vitally important that members of the caucus hear from teachers and get a clearer understanding of what’s happening every day in our schools,” says CEA Director of Government Relations Ray Rossomando. “Teachers came from every corner of the state and stayed late into the evening, on a school night, to testify before their elected officials about what matters most to their students, their profession, and the communities where they teach. That has an impact.” Read more

Crisis in the Classroom: Legislators Need to Hear From You

Many Connecticut children are losing out on learning time when disruptive behavior from another student continually interrupts the school day. Problematic student behavior is a major problem in our schools, but many legislators aren’t aware of what’s happening in your classroom. They need to hear your stories.

On Friday, February 22, the legislature’s Education Committee will be holding a public hearing on legislation that protects students and teachers from dangerous situations in the classroom, and provides support and services for students who act out. Legislators need to hear from you!

Click here to submit written testimony now.

You can submit your story under your own name, or anonymously.

If you are interested in testifying and sharing your story in person with the Education Committee on February 22, please contact myvoice@cea.org.

Disrupted Learning: Oregon Teachers Share Their Stories, and You Can Too

There’s a crisis of disrupted learning not just in Connecticut, but across the U.S., and the Oregon Education Association today released a report on the conditions students and educators are facing in schools.

Some Oregon teachers talked to a local news station about the disruptions they face daily.

Teachers in Connecticut experience many of these same situations, but legislators are unaware of the severity and pervasiveness of the problem.

Share your own story (anonymously if you so choose) to make legislators aware of the need for action to make classrooms safe for all students and teachers.

To arrange for a teacher-legislator get-together in your district, contact your local association president and CEA’s Chris Donovan or Robyn Kaplan-Cho.

Lamont: ‘We Have the Greatest Teachers in the World’

During his State of the State Address kicking off the 2019 legislative session today Governor Ned Lamont received a standing ovation when he praised teachers.

“We have the greatest teachers in the world,” Lamont said. “We ought to tell them that. Thank you for what you do, teachers.”

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2019 Legislative Session: What to Watch

January 9 marked the inauguration of a new governor and the beginning of the 2019 session of the Connecticut General Assembly. It’s likely to be a busy session with many issues for legislators to tackle over these next months.

CEA will be working closely with newly elected and appointed officials on legislation critical to you and your profession.

Subscribe to BlogCEA for updates and CEA Action Alerts on key CEA priorities this session. Read more

CEA and Education Stakeholders Well Represented on Governor-Elect’s Policy Committees

A standing-room only crowd of nearly 500 people gathered this morning at Eastern Connecticut State University, eager to help shape the future of their state.

Governor-elect Ned Lamont addresses the nearly 500 people gathered for a policy summit at Eastern Connecticut State University today.

“Look at this crowd. You believe in the state of Connecticut,” Governor-elect Ned Lamont told the people assembled, many of whom are serving on 15 transition policy committees for his administration, which met for the first time today.
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