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Only 4 Days Until Election Day! Are You Ready?

Election Day is right around the corner. If you’re still deciding who to vote for, check out where the candidates stand on education issues at cea.org/reportcard.

Polls will be open 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. on November 6. If you still need to register to vote, you can go to your town hall on Election Day—just don’t wait until 7:58!

Not sure where to go to vote? You can look up your polling place here.

You can preview exactly what and who will be on your town’s ballet by looking at a sample ballot.

Below, watch CEA Vice President Tom Nicholas and CEA President Jeff Leake explain why it’s so important to vote this Election Day.

Native American and Alaska Native Heritage Month

Grand Entry, Omaha Powwow Project collection (AFC 1986/038), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

November is Native American and Alaska Native Heritage Month. Estimates of the population of the Western Hemisphere prior to the arrival of Europeans range from 8 million to more than 100 million. Cultures were as varied as the stationary Mayas in the Yucatan and the nomadic Plains Indians in North America. Explore Native American culture with the following lessons, activities, and resources.

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Actuary Sets Record Straight on Teacher Pensions

Misconceptions abound when it comes to teachers’ pensions, but today, in a presentation to the Pension Sustainability Commission, an actuary clarified that Connecticut teachers’ pension benefits are actually quite modest.

The Connecticut Pension Sustainability Commission is charged with studying “the feasibility of placing state capital assets in a trust and maximizing those assets for the sole benefit of the state pension system.”

John Garrett, principal and consulting actuary at Cavanaugh Macdonald Consulting, shared findings from the March 2018 report of the Connecticut Teachers’ Retirement System Viability Commission.

Garrett compared Connecticut with 11 other state retirement systems that cover pension benefits to teachers who do not receive social security. “Connecticut has a fairly modest benefit when you look at other non-Social Security covered workforces,” he said. Read more

20 Teacher-Approved Apps You’ve Got to Try

Mobile apps have become “must have” classroom tools, and students are naturally drawn to their interactivity. Whether you’re looking for an app to help with classroom management, exploring different languages, or figuring out tricky geometry problems, there’s an app for anything and everything.

With hundreds of thousands of apps out there, finding the right ones to use can be a challenge. To help you navigate the waters, NEA Member Benefits asked your fellow NEA members for information about apps they find useful in their classrooms. Below are their picks along with some helpful advice. Read more

Applications Now Open for the NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellowship

The NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellowship broadens educators’ and students’ perspectives. It’s a great opportunity for classroom teachers to develop their global competence and bring the world to their students.The yearlong, fully-funded fellowship includes:

  • An online course in teaching global competence
  • A two-day professional development workshop in Washington, D.C. (Fall 2019)
  • Webinars discussing global issues
  • A nine-day international field study to Peru (Summer 2020)

Learn more and apply today.

Joe Biden Comes to Connecticut, Campaigns for Education Candidates

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Former Vice President Joe Biden hits the campaign trail for Connecticut’s pro-education, pro-union candidates.

In a rousing speech at Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy in Hartford, where a rally was held this afternoon for gubernatorial hopeful Ned Lamont, former Vice President Joe Biden urged Connecticut voters to cast their ballots for pro-union, pro-education candidates. Read more

Spring Break 2019 Vacation Planning with NEA Adventures

Stroll through a Costa Rica rainforest when you book an NEA Adventure! Book now for Spring Break 2019 trips to Costa Rica—or wait until Summer 2019 and head to Alaska, Costa Rica, Iceland, Italy, Peru, Vietnam, or Western Express-Northbound U.S.

Make 2019 a year to remember. Reserve your spot now with a deposit of $250. Then pay the full balance 60 days prior to departure. To book, call 866-667-9509. See more details at neamb.com/neaadventures. Read more

Make the Holidays Brighter for Children in Need

Winter gloves, a LEGO set, and an inventor’s kit are at the top of one boy’s wish list. But his parents, like many others, are struggling to afford even the essentials.

Fortunately, the boy has a Holiday Bear sponsor—someone who will shop for the items on his wish list and deliver them in time for the holidays.

The Connecticut Education Foundation (CEF) Holiday Bear gift-giving project brings CEA members, their communities, and local businesses together to brighten the holidays for hundreds of disadvantaged public school children. Read more

New Member Benefit: Help with Student Loans, Credit Card Debt

Cambridge Credit Counseling Student Loan Counseling Manager Gordon Oliver and CEA Educational Issues Specialist Michele O’Neill talked with CEA members at a recent Degrees Not Debt workshop.

Connecticut has the highest average student loan debt of any state in the nation at $38,510, according to a recent analysis. That’s why CEA has partnered with Cambridge Credit Counseling to help members get back on solid financial ground.

With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, Cambridge Credit Counseling is a nonprofit agency that can help CEA members learn about eliminating student loan debt by reducing payments or taking advantage of loan forgiveness plans that many borrowers are unaware of. Cambridge Credit Counseling will identify all the repayment programs available to you based on your unique situation. Read more

Jahana Hayes Delivers Inspiring Message at CEA’s New Teacher Conference

“You chose this profession because you wanted to make a difference, and that means standing on the front lines for democracy,” CEA President Jeff Leake told nearly 200 educators gathered for CEA’s 18th annual New Teacher Conference on Saturday. “It means protecting education for the common good; keeping schools safe for our students; fighting discrimination; and resisting political interference into our classrooms while acknowledging that politics affects our work, our livelihood, our communities, and our planet. Because we are on the front lines for democracy, we will always rise to our duty to educate for democracy, stimulate critical thinking, and shape global citizens.”

2016 National Teacher of the Year and Congressional Candidate Jahana Hayes gives the keynote address at CEA’s New Teacher Conference.

Pointing to a “CEA Stronger Together” button he wears every day, Leake added, “This reminds us that our collective voice is so much more powerful than just one voice and that the best way to improve the fate of our students, our profession, and our communities is through the collective action of democratic, independent unions.” Read more