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Don’t Miss the Summer CEA Advisor!

Summer Advisor 2017The summer edition of the CEA Advisor is an online-only issue, and it has lots of essential news and information for CEA members.

Make sure to check it out and read about

  • a Westport music teacher who has been nominated for a Grammy,
  • educators speaking out at budget meetings,
  • a new law that helps teachers make informed retirement investment decisions,
  • summer reading recommendations, and
  • much more.

New at Summer Leadership: Mini Sessions

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Cheshire 30-year veteran teacher Tracy Ajello and Torrington teacher Michael McCotter, entering his fourth year, practice broaching tough topics in the mini session Difficult Discussions.

Sometimes good things come in small packages—and that was the case on the final day of CEA’s 2017 Summer Leadership Conference. Day 3 featured a packed morning and afternoon of 90-minute workshops on a wide range of topics, including student debt, teacher evaluations, educator autonomy, culturally competent schools, adult learning theory, engaging members in political campaigns, trauma-informed practices, legal rights in the special education process, Section 504, and more.

“It’s my first time at Summer Leadership, and I just came for the day of mini sessions,” said North Haven teacher Jennifer Frederick. “I’m especially interested in new laws and policies affecting our classrooms. As a regular education teacher with special education students in my classroom, I’m also seeking support in that area as well as using Google apps in my classroom—which is covered in one of the sessions I signed up for.” Read more

Building Connections, Strength at CEA Summer Leadership

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Carrie and Joseph Cassady (who teach in Torrington, CT and Rhode Island respectively) met at the NEA RA five years ago.

In her opening remarks at the 2017 CEA Summer Leadership Conference, President Sheila Cohen told a packed ballroom, “All of you represent the equalizers in our society, the igniting sparks of innovation and creativity, and the social justice warriors of our nation. You make a difference. You are teachers.”

On this, day two of the annual conference, Cohen’s hundreds of warriors continued enriching their professional development for the classroom, expanding their skills on union issues, and building and renewing relationships with their colleagues across the state—and in some cases, across the state border. Read more

CEA President Sheila Cohen Kicks Off Summer Leadership Conference

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CEA President Sheila Cohen addressed teachers attending the CEA Summer Leadership Conference Monday morning.

“It all starts with you.”

That was the message CEA President Sheila Cohen gave to more than 400 teachers at the CEA Summer Leadership Conference today. She reminded teachers how important they are to every child’s success—and how critical their voices are to the policies that shape children’s education and the political process behind those policies.

In her welcoming remarks at CEA’s 2017 Summer Leadership Conference, Cohen urged members to stay on top of what is happening in Hartford and in Washington, especially this year. Read more

CEA-Retired Member’s Work Highlighted by NEA

NEA Today is featuring retired educators who are still making a difference—and one of those highlighted is Connecticut’s own Jon-Paul Roden. A former CEA-Retired president, Roden was recently elected to his second term on the NEA-Retired Executive Council.

Read about Roden’s continuing contributions to the teaching profession below.

Jon-Paul Roden
Computer Science Teacher, Vernon, Connecticut

When Jon-Paul Roden started teaching in 1965, he needed to take on a second job to help supplement his income. This side job, along with others, made him eligible for Social Security benefits when he retired in 2000. His colleagues who didn’t take outside work and had only teaching pensions were left without a Social Security benefit, and most importantly, the Medicare Part B coverage. Read more

Charter Discriminates, Penalizes Needy Public School Children

Bridgeport teachers, reflecting the concerns of the city’s parents, students, and board of education, testified at a recent State Board of Education hearing on the need to protect public school funds from charter school expansion.

The following op-ed by CEA President Sheila Cohen appeared in the print edition of the Hartford Courant, July 30, 2017. 

Every parent and student in Connecticut should be outraged over the continued lack of oversight and special benefits provided to charter schools in Connecticut — to the detriment of more than 500,000 students in the state’s public school system. Many charter schools management corporations are profiting off our children while draining critical traditional public school funds and threatening to diminish the quality of public education.

Recent newspaper reports uncovered improper admissions procedures at Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, founded by Steve Perry, who also runs Capital Preparatory Harbor Charter School in Bridgeport. A state audit found that Capital Prep in Hartford violated state admission procedures and cherry-picked students. But the state has not conducted an audit of Perry’s Capital Preparatory Harbor Charter School in Bridgeport, nor has it done anything to require transparency to protect the state’s vital education dollars. Read more

Connecticut Teachers Graduate School Fair

This fall, join Connecticut universities and colleges to explore their graduate programs, and to learn more about the new professional certification requirements with representatives from the state, CEA, and AFT-CT.

This free event for Connecticut teachers will take place Saturday, October 14, 2017 from 09:00 AM until 12:00 PM at Wesleyan University.

Click here to register and receive more information.

Speak Up to Protect Public Education and Your Retirement

Legislators decided to delay yesterday’s budget vote, giving you more time to speak out against actions that would hurt your students, your school, your retirement, and your future.

Your voice makes a difference, but some legislators have not yet heard from teachers. Contact them and tell them to

1)   Vote against any teacher retirement cost shift (shifting millions in costs from the state to the towns and putting pressure on school budgets)

2)   Vote against any increase in teacher pension contributions

3)   Vote against any cuts to ECS funding

TAKE ACTION NOW.

If legislators don’t hear from teachers they will believe these issues are not important. You can change that. CLICK HERE and tell your legislators why they must vote against any attacks on students, teachers, and public education.

Your CEA Membership Saves on Admission to Attractions Around the State

Planning to visit some local attractions this summer? Don’t forget to check out discounts available to CEA members before you go.

Your CEA membership offers you discounted admission at the Adventure Parks in Bridgeport and Storrs, Lake Compounce, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Connecticut Science Center, Mystic Aquarium, and so much more.

Check out the complete list here.

CEA Member Appreciation Day at the Yard Goats Next Saturday

The Hartford Yard Goats are excited to announce CEA Member Appreciation Days at the new ballpark—the first of which is coming up Saturday, July 29! Come out to cheer on the home team and enjoy special recognition for CEA member teachers with fireworks after the game. The game starts at 6:35 p.m. and is against the Reading Fightin Phils.

If you can’t make next Saturday, there is a second CEA Member Appreciation Day on Friday, August 11, at 7:05 p.m. versus the Harrisburg Senators.

Reserve and pay for your tickets online at www.cea.org/yardgoats and automatically receive a $2 CEA member discount for each ticket you purchase.