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Tell Your Legislators: Don’t Pass the Buck on Our Pensions

Legislators have begun to seriously consider numerous proposals, including the governor’s, to burden local cities and towns with the state obligation to fund teacher pensions.

Municipalities only have one way to raise revenue, so this cost shift would force towns to either raise local property taxes and/or cut local public education funding—leading to larger class sizes, loss of teaching positions, and fewer vital resources for students. Read more

April Deals and Discounts from NEA Member Benefits

This spring, remember to check out NEA Member Benefits for all your shopping needs.

NEA Click & Save “Buy-lights” for April 2017

Spring has sprung! NEA Click & Save, the online discount buying service for NEA members, highlights select retailers and merchants each month. Check out these featured “Buy-lights” for April!* Read more

Teachers Stand Up for Public Education; Talk Priorities with Legislators

 

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CEA President Sheila Cohen addressed hundreds of teachers who came to the CEA Hartford County Forum Monday night to speak with legislators. 

Hundreds of teachers at CEA County Forums throughout the state are speaking directly to local legislators about issues impacting education—including funding for public schools, teacher healthcare, and retirement. With a proposed state budget that would divide Connecticut’s school districts into winners and losers and saddle towns with one-third of the cost of their teachers’ pensions, CEA members and leaders are taking their concerns to their elected officials.

Legislators are hearing firsthand from teachers in their districts about how proposed cuts in funding are eliminating teacher positions and school programs—to the detriment of students. Read more

Retired Teachers Meet Face to Face With Legislators to Discuss Policy Issues

CEA-Retired Legislative Committee Co-Chairs Myles Cohen and Karen O’Connell.

“I find it’s important to stay involved in our Association and pay it forward,” said John Battista, one of nearly 200 retired Connecticut educators who converged on the Legislative Office Building this week for Retired Teachers Lobby Day. The event, a joint effort of CEA-Retired, the Association of Retired Teachers of Connecticut (ARTC), and AFT Connecticut, brought longtime educators and their elected officials face to face to discuss issues important to both retired and active teachers.

Battista, a former physical education teacher in Westbrook, said, “I wasn’t an advocate early in my career, but over time I developed a passion for the issues critical to active and retired teachers. Teachers are the most important part of our economy. I want to see our profession lifted up to where it should be. ” Read more

10 Family Discounts You May Be Missing Out On

Did you know that many of the benefits available to NEA members are also available to your family? You can now add immediate family members to your account so they can take advantage of many of the products and services you currently enjoy.

To sign up a family member, simply sign in to neamb.com and go to “My Account,” select the “Family Members” tab and click on “Add Family Member.” You will be asked to provide basic information about your family member(s), including their full name and an email address.

Get the most out of your NEA membership and encourage your family members to enjoy these great deals, along with many more: Read more

Supreme Court Strikes Down Gorsuch Ruling on Special Education Funding: Decision Could Impact CCJEF Appeal

Last week, in the midst of a hearing on Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, the justices on that very court issued a unanimous decision that rejected one of Judge Gorsuch’s rulings against students with disabilities, and repudiated his reasoning in the case.

The decision came in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District RE-1 and resolved a conflict among lower courts as to the level of educational benefits a school must provide to students with disabilities covered by the IDEA. Written by Chief Judge Roberts, the decision resoundingly rejected the “merely . . . more than de minimis” Gorsuch standard, holding that a school must offer those students an individualized education program (IEP) that is “reasonably calculated” to enable a student “to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.” Read more

Supporting Muslim Students & Families: What Every Teacher Needs to Know

Join your colleagues April 5 in Bridgeport for a workshop on Supporting Muslim Students and Families: What Every Teacher Needs to Know.

In this interactive workshop participants will hear from experts and students, work with case studies, and interact with panelists in order to:

  • understand the basics of Islam,
  • understand the impact of the current societal climate on Muslim children, and
  • discuss how to foster meaningful connections and trust between students, families, and schools.

The workshop will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. at the University of Bridgeport, 126 Park Avenue, University Hall Activity Room, Bridgeport, CT 06604. Admission is free, however space is limited.

Click here to register.

Presenters include:

  • Dr. M. Saud Anwar, founder and co-chair of the American Muslim Peace Initiative
  • Shazia Chaudhry, co-facilitator of the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Muslim-Jewish Dialogue Group
  • Marji Lipshez-Shapiro, Senior Associate Director of the ADL
  • Muslim high school students and parents

Democrats to Filibuster Supreme Court Nominee With Troubling Record on Students With Disabilities

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York today said he will lead a filibuster against Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch. On the fourth and final day of the Senate hearing on the nominee, Democrats are persuaded they can’t support Gorsuch’s nomination.

Gorsuch has repeatedly ruled against students with disabilities who seek public education, consistently sided with big business at the expense of working people, and embraced extreme views that could endanger workers’ rights on issues like employment discrimination, worker safety, and wages. Read more

CEA Expresses Alarm to President Trump Over Deportation of Students

CEA is joining together with other Connecticut education stakeholders to urge President Trump to ensure that schools continue to be safe places where children, regardless of immigrant and/or citizenship status, will not have their learning interrupted.

Commenting earlier this year on President Trump’s executive order on immigration, CEA President Sheila Cohen said, “Teachers strive to create a safe and welcoming environment for our students every day. We endeavor to make sure each child recognizes his or her self worth and feels secure in order to learn and grow—emotionally and academically.”

She continued, “Teachers will stand strong together in support of our core American values and continue to champion generosity, religious freedom, and the importance of protecting our most vulnerable.”

Click here to read the letter.

Resources for Music in Our Schools Month

Now, when some public school music programs can face budget cuts, is a critical time to support music in our schools. March is Music In Our Schools Month (MIOSM), and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) website provides ideas for how to participate in MIOSM and promote support for school music. A menu offers downloadable MIOSM logos for web and print use, and activity ideas. Read more