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CEA Criticizes Practices at Corporate-Run Charter Including Apparent Fraud and Overbilling Taxpayers $1.6 Million

The Connecticut Education Association supports the State Department of Education’s revocation proceedings for Path Academy Charter School in Windham and its charter management organization (CMO), Our Piece of the Pie. The Department has uncovered shocking practices that include defrauding the state of nearly $1.6 million, billing the state for 128 phantom students, operating unauthorized schools, and tolerating excessive absenteeism.

“The state cannot allow these shocking practices to continue. Our children and their education—as well as state dollars—require protection from fraud and fiscal abuse,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “It is unacceptable when charter schools are not held to the same standards as traditional public schools, or are given free reign over public dollars with no public oversight.” Read more

Teachers Elect New Leaders

In contested races, 428 teacher delegates elected a new president, Jeff Leake, and vice president, Tom Nicholas, to lead the Connecticut Education Association for the next three years. The election took place on May 19 at the 170th CEA Representative Assembly (CEA RA). The president and vice president’s three-year terms begin July 15.

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Current CEA Vice President Jeff Leake and Treasurer Tom Nicholas were voted CEA President and Vice President at the CEA RA today.

In addition, in uncontested races, delegates elected directors to represent them on the NEA Board of Directors. Vernon teacher David Jedidian was elected NEA director, and Tara Flaherty, a teacher at Shepaug Valley School in Washington, was elected NEA director alternate. Their three-year terms begin September 1.

Read more

Unity, Solidarity Key Messages at CEA RA

Nearly 420 teachers gathered at Mohegan Sun Convention Center tonight to begin setting policy and electing new leaders at the 170th Connecticut Education Association Representative Assembly (CEA RA). The CEA RA is the Association’s highest policymaking body.

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CEA President Sheila Cohen convened the 170th CEA Representative Assembly.

 

On day one of the two-day assembly, CEA Executive Director Donald Williams remembered the teacher and nine students who lost their lives in the latest school shooting, at Santa Fe High School in Texas, earlier that morning. Williams also noted the 22 separate school shootings that have occurred so far this year in the United States, and urged, “We cannot normalize this in our country.” Read more

Legislators Pass Bill to Improve Classroom Safety

Norwich teacher Heidi Kapszukiewicz, and Manchester school social worker Charity Korb were among CEA members who testified about aggressive student behavior at legislative hearings this spring.

In an important step toward ensuring the safety of Connecticut students and teachers, the State House and Senate have both passed SB 453. It protects students and teachers in the classroom, and ensures that students who need assistance get the help they need. It also helps decrease the number of those who later wind up in the criminal justice system by providing assistance now, in a pro-active manner. This is a better result for everyone.

The bill requires all public school districts to ensure daily classroom safety, which is defined as

“…a classroom environment in which students and school employees are not physically injured by other students, school employees or parents, or exposed to such physical injury to others.”

CEA members have been contacting lawmakers all session long, urging them to pass this important bill, and lawmakers clearly heard and responded to their concerns. Read more

Students and Parents Show Teachers Their Thanks

CREC Montessori Magnet student Matteo Dolzadelli helps prepare the teacher appreciation breakfast.

Teachers deserve our appreciation each and every day, and today students and parents are making a special effort to extend their thanks to teachers on National Teacher Day.

At CREC Montessori Magnet School in Hartford, the thanks took the form of a breakfast and juice bar that parents organized as a small token of their appreciation.

Parent Jimena Dolzadelli has been organizing the annual event for nearly a decade, and each year more food offerings are added. In addition to muffins, cookies, quiche, and fruit, this year’s spread included freshly squeezed orange juice, watermelon lemonade, and a vegan detox smoothie. Read more

Contact Legislative Leaders Now and Urge Them to Roll Back the Teacher Tax

Roll back the tax2There are only five days left in the legislative session, and legislators need to act to roll back the 1 percent teacher tax.

Please contact legislative leaders now, and urge them to repeal this 1 percent tax that unfairly targets teachers.

Click here to email legislative leaders now.

Building Rep Says Member Engagement Is What Makes Unions Strong

Building Rep Superhero KatyGayleMember engagement is vital to a strong union, says Darien Building Rep Katy Gale. When members are more engaged, she explains, they feel empowered and capable of effecting change.

“My local has taken member engagement really seriously,” the fifth grade Hindley Elementary teacher says. “We have made it a point to meet one-on-one with almost every member and really listen to them and hear about what’s important to them. Now we can move forward and develop a plan to meet everyone’s needs.” Read more

Stay Safe from Identity Thieves

img_id-theftThe latest data breach making headlines—affecting five million Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue customers—is a powerful reminder that identity theft is a real and constant threat.

CEA-endorsed USI Insurance has personal risk specialists to help you safeguard your personal information. They’ve put together a checklist of practical steps to protect yourself against everything from phishing scams to hotel Wi-Fi hackers.

Come to Member Appreciation Days at the Hartford Yard Goats!

Screen Shot 2018-04-18 at 3.57.12 PM.pngBaseball season is in full swing. Save on tickets to CEA Member Appreciation Days at the Hartford Yard Goats. Hurry—games sell out fast!

Back by popular demand, the Hartford Yard Goats are holding three CEA Teacher Appreciation Days this baseball season—Saturday, May 5Friday, July 27; and Friday, August 24—with discounted tickets and fireworks after each game.

The last day to buy tickets to the May 5 game is April 21—so don’t wait! Read more

Free Dental Clinic April 20-21 at Torrington High School

572627_3_ctmomAre there children at your school who aren’t receiving dental care? CEA is partnering with the Connecticut Foundation for Dental Outreach to get the message out about an upcoming clinic that provides free dental care to underserved and uninsured children and families throughout the state.

A flier, available in English and Spanish, contains details about the free dental clinic. Please share it with families in your district.

The free clinic will take place April 20-21 at Torrington High School. Read more