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Documentary Exposes Hidden Costs of School Voucher Schemes

New London teacher Casey Miller attended a free screening of the documentary Backpack Full of Cash sponsored by CEA, Connecticut College, and Re:publicEd.

CEA, together with Connecticut College and New London-based nonprofit Re:publicEd, sponsored a free screening of the documentary Backpack Full of Cash, which takes a critical look at the movement to privatize schools.

Narrated by Matt Damon, the 90-minute film exposes the devastating effects of corporate-backed school reform on students, teachers, and whole communities. Filmed in Philadelphia, New Orleans, Nashville, and other major cities, Backpack Full of Cash shows the tragic consequences when school voucher schemes siphon taxpayer dollars to fund private, religious, for-profit CMO-run charter, and online schools, leaving public school students starved of resources. Read more

The Wheels on the Bus Go Read, Read, Read

CEA Executive Director Donald Williams visits Putnam Elementary School, where students chose their own books to take home and share with their families.

This morning kicked off the Connecticut Education Foundation’s 2018 Read Across America Reading Bus Tour, featuring a 38-foot bus decorated with characters from popular Dr. Seuss books and outfitted with bookshelves, benches, carpeting, and 3,000 donated books.

Sponsored by CEF, the nonprofit arm of the Connecticut Education Association, the weeklong literacy event includes guest readers, costumed characters, literacy activities, and new books for nearly 1,000 students.

The colorful bus, which made its first stop at Putnam Elementary School this morning, visits a new town in northeastern Connecticut each day this week, moving next to Thompson, Brooklyn, Sterling, Killingly, and Plainfield. Read more

Working People Rally to Protect Their Freedom to Negotiate Together

Untitled design(3)On Monday, February 26, at 12:00 p.m., working people will hold simultaneous rallies in four cities across Connecticut to stand up for their freedom to come together and fight for decent and equitable pay, affordable health care, quality schools, and vibrant communities. They will join thousands of workers across the country who will be taking action over the weekend and into the week.

Workers are taking action on the 26th as oral arguments begin before the U.S. Supreme Court in a case called Janus v. AFSCME Council 31. Wealthy special interests, backed by the Trump Administration, want the Supreme Court to rig the economy even more in their favor with the Janus case. The corporate CEOs and wealthy special interests behind this case simply do not believe that working people should have the same freedoms and opportunities as they do. Read more

Statement from CEA President Sheila Cohen on Arming Teachers to Prevent School Violence

The Connecticut Education Association does not endorse the idea that teachers should bring guns into the classroom.

Teachers must focus on educating students. Asking teachers to be armed, paramilitary operatives as a result of the inability of Congress to pass gun violence prevention legislation is madness. We place enough mandates on our teachers—Congress needs to take action to keep our schools safe.

After the 2012 tragedy at Sandy Hook, Connecticut passed historic gun, mental health and school safety laws—some of the toughest in the nation—to help keep our children, our families, our schools, and our communities safe from gun violence. Republicans and Democrats worked together.

Congress must take action to protect all students in every school in America.

CEA is helping to coordinate school activities and early-morning Walk-Ins For Safe Schools on Thursday, March 14. School communities can stand in solidarity, and walk-in to school together to support the changes needed to make every school and every child safe.

CEA Teachers, Leaders to Appropriations Committee: We Need Full, Fair Education Funding

CEA leaders and members today called on the Appropriations Committee to restore ECS funding, support retired teachers, and fund the state’s new teacher induction program.

Quality public education does not happen without adequate funding.

That was the message from CEA teachers and leaders who held a news conference at the Legislative Office Building this afternoon. The news conference came in advance of a public hearing before the legislature’s Appropriations Committee, where teachers pushed for the restoration of education cost share (ECS) funding for schools, critical programs that support new teachers, and a budget that ensures veteran teachers who have dedicated their professional lives to Connecticut’s children can retire with dignity.

“Our students and teachers are dealing with the destructive consequences of budget cuts, including fewer resources, the elimination of programs, teacher layoffs, and increases in class size,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “Legislators must restore public school funding so that all students have the critical resources, tools, and support they need to achieve.” Read more

Education and Student Leaders to Lawmakers: Help Us Take Back Our Schools

CEA President Sheila Cohen today joined East Hartford students, the CT Association of Boards of Education, and the CT Association of Public School Superintendents to demand action on school safety.

CEA joined with the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) and the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) in a press conference at East Hartford High School this morning demanding meaningful legislative action on school safety, including stricter gun laws and greater investment in mental health and counseling services.

The press conference comes one week after the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that claimed the lives of 17 students, teachers, and coaches. Frustrated by the lack of progress on school safety, the three groups called on politicians to follow Connecticut’s lead in the wake of Newtown, when it passed historic gun and school safety laws.

“When the unimaginable happened here in Connecticut, and 26 students and educators were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School, we were shocked,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “We were devastated. We never imagined it would happen here. And we said enough.Read more

Connecticut Teachers Honor Educators, Students Killed in School Shooting

Handmade posters celebrated the heroism and sacrifice of teacher Scott Beigel and the tragic loss of 16 others in last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

High school teacher Scott Beigel left this earth the way he had lived his life: looking out for the young people in his care.

The camp-counselor-turned-teacher was one of 17 victims in the high-profile shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last week.

“All teachers I know are horrified that, once again, school classrooms and hallways have been killing fields,” said Mary Kay Rendock, a teacher at Carmen Arace Intermediate School in Bloomfield, Connecticut. “I am in tears thinking of the terror those teachers felt as they shielded, hid, and protected their students, and as some paid with their lives.” Read more

Women’s History Month for the Classroom

The March 2018 Theme for National Women’s History Month is “Nevertheless She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.”

Examine the changing cultural perceptions of women in society and honor their contributions in the following lessons and activities.


These Members Won a CEA Swag Bag – and So Can You

This month, all members who subscribe to BlogCEA are being entered for a daily chance to win a CEA swag bag. The BlogCEA bag contains a flash drive, cell phone pocket, clip, and more.

For your chance to win, just click here and subscribe today.

Winners for the first part of February are Read more

State Board of Education Acts on Teachers’ Concerns: Rejects Charter Expansion

Bridgeport Schools Beginning Teacher Coordinator Michael Brosnan was among many teachers urging the State Board of Education to reject charter school expansion at today’s meeting.

The State Board of Education today listened to teachers’ concerns about fairness in education funding and responded by rejecting increases in enrollment for three charter schools that would have cost the state $627,000.

At a time when state budget cuts are currently hurting students and teachers at neighborhood public schools, CEA President Sheila Cohen said it would have been unconscionable for the state “to divert precious education funds to expand charter schools at the expense of traditional public schools and to the detriment of all students, but especially minority students in the state’s poorest school districts.” Read more