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Retired Teachers Applaud Legislative Funding, Ready to Stay Active and Engaged

CEA Executive Director Donald Williams thanked CEA-Retired members for reaching out to their legislators in such great numbers.

“Those of you who went to retired lobby day, who reached out to your legislators, I can’t thank you enough,” CEA Executive Director Donald Williams told members of CEA-Retired gathered for their annual spring meeting this morning. “You made a tremendous difference and had a big impact on the legislature this year.”

In the budget that passed the Connecticut General Assembly late last night, legislators designated $16 million for the Retired Teachers’ Health Insurance Fund—contributing their full share for the first time in many years. While the state is supposed to contribute one-third of the fund’s actuarially required amount and retired teachers and active teachers each contribute one-third, the state has not been funding its share recently—putting the fund on the precipice of bankruptcy.

“Full state funding for the Retired Teachers’ Health Insurance Fund has been one of our top priorities in recent years,” Williams said. “Thank you for your great work.” Read more

Teaching Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have contributed to politics, military, medicine, aviation, entertainment, and sports in the United States. Celebrate their heritage and contributions with these lessons and activities.

RESOURCES FOR:

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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

National Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation FBToday begins National Teacher Appreciation Week in recognition of all that is outstanding about public education in America and in Connecticut. Teacher Appreciation Week honors excellent teaching and learning. Each day of the school year our students come to us with a wealth of experiences, an enthusiasm for learning, and a genuine respect for education.

Throughout the year, anyone entering our school buildings and our classrooms observes genuinely dedicated, highly qualified, and infinitely caring teachers who make meaningful connections between teaching and learning. I once heard a teacher say, “Teaching is not what I do. It is who I am.” This statement had a profound effect on me for, I believe, it speaks directly to you, Connecticut teachers. In Connecticut, teaching is not what we do, it is who we are. 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

Teacher Leader Institute May 22: Register Now!

CEA is pleased to once again partner with Central Connecticut State University on this important event featuring Ottawa’s Dr. Peter Gamwell and Finland’s Dr. Pasi Sahlberg. Their work has been influential on the structure of education in their respective countries, which are recognized as education superpowers and supporters of teachers as professional leaders.

The theme of this year’s program—which will be explored in a panel discussion and breakout sessions—is teacher leaders as enablers of creativity, collaboration, and innovation in their classrooms and beyond.

Offered by CCSU in partnership with CEA, AFT-CT, and Duke University Teachhouse, the program is open to 400 public school educators.

REGISTER TO ATTEND THE INSTITUTE.

May 22, 2018, 8:00am – 3:30pm
CCSU New Britain Campus – Alumni Hall

Read about last year’s institute.

Cost: $75.00 per person

Space is limited.

State Latin Day Proves Language Is Alive and Well in Connecticut

Latin may be the historical language of ancient Rome—but last week it also belonged to the over a thousand teens in togas and tunics attending Connecticut State Latin Day in Cheshire. Students from nearly 50 middle and high schools around Connecticut experienced a day full of camaraderie, fun, and interdisciplinary learning that strengthened their Latin skills while boosting their interest in the language.

CEA Legal Counsel Rebecca Mitchell and her sister, Simsbury Spanish teacher Adria Bernard, taught Greek dancing to students at CT Latin Day.

“The popularity of the event shows Connecticut is one of the best places to study Latin,” says organizer and Farmington Latin teacher Drew Warchut. “We have a strong learning community in our state, and Latin is alive and well.” Read more

10 Free Things for Mother’s Day

1. Acrostic Mother’s Day Poems

Students in grades 1-2 write acrostic poems for Mother’s Day.

2. Pop Up Mother’s Day Card

Step-by-step instructions for making a pop up flower card. K-5

3. Stand-Up Mom

With this printable decoration, students in grades K-2 color, cut out, and fold stand-up moms, and then attach a heart to one hand and write a special message on her apron.
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Act Now: Tell Legislators to Rollback the 1% Teacher Tax

It’s time to roll back the 1 percent teacher tax increase.

The legislature is currently considering action on a budget bill, and we have two weeks left in the legislative session to fight for a roll back of the teacher tax from 7 to 6 percent.

Now is the time to call your legislators and ask them to pass HB 5430, An Act Concerning Teachers’ Retirement Commission Contributions.

Because of the many emails and phone calls legislators received from teachers, HB 5430 was passed out of committee. We must keep the pressure up.

Rolling back this unfair increase will require votes in the House and the Senate before midnight May 9. Your legislators and legislative leaders need to hear from you in order to make this happen.

Click here to email your legislators and tell them to roll back the teacher tax and pass HB 5430.

Click here to email legislative leaders and urge them to call for a vote on HB 5430.