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Posts tagged ‘ECS Funding’

CCJEF Ruling Fails Connecticut Students

Bridgeport teacher Greg Furlong shared his firsthand experiences with inadequate resources and support as a witness for CCJEF during the trial in Superior Court.

Yesterday’s State Supreme Court ruling in the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding (CCJEF) v. Rell delivered a mixed verdict—bad for school funding, while rejecting the lower court’s attempt to create burdensome schemes for testing, teacher evaluation, and education policy.

The key issue in the CCJEF case was whether school funding in Connecticut is adequate. On this issue, the Court found that state funding meets the minimally adequate level required. This finding flies in the face of mounting evidence of poorly funded and resourced public schools throughout the state, especially in high poverty communities.

“This decision fails to protect education funding,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “Communities all over Connecticut have already seen the state withdraw from its obligation to fund our public schools,” Cohen observed. “Rather than protect the quality of education in our communities, this decision allows the governor and the legislature to continue to slash funding to our schools and children.” Read more

Teachers Call on Legislators to Address Education Funding in Special Session

Connecticut teachers are urging legislators to take up the critical issue of education funding when they convene for a special session later this month to focus on the draconian cuts devastating the state’s public schools and shortchanging students’ education.

“While we appreciate legislators standing up for our senior citizens, our youngest and most vulnerable citizens are also facing peril with continued school funding cuts that must be addressed,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “The time for action is now. Our children can’t wait until next February. Legislators must take up the issue in special session.” Read more

Act Now: Prevent New Round of Planned Education Cuts

It’s being called “the nightmare before Christmas”—massive new cuts in education funding for cities and towns.

It’s so severe, the only option for many towns is to lay off teachers, right before the holidays. Besides the layoffs, the cuts will put student learning at risk, limit already scarce school resources, eliminate programs, and lead to larger class sizes, all in the middle of the school year.

We need you to contact your state legislators today.

Tell them: Read more

Statement From CEA President Sheila Cohen on Governor Signing Bipartisan Budget into Law

The governor yesterday signed the bipartisan budget into law, ending the draconian education cuts made under his Executive Order. The new budget restores essential ECS funding to cities and towns across the state. Torrington, which was cut by more than $20 million, and 138 other communities whose budgets were drastically cut, will now receive the education funding needed to ensure the continued operation of their schools and the high-quality education of their students. This was a critical step to avoid massive disruption in our schools across the state.

We appreciate that the new budget protects education funding for our students and schools, but we are disappointed that teachers were singled out and penalized with a teacher tax. While the proposed increase in the payroll tax on teachers was reduced from two percent to one percent, the monies collected from this teacher tax will not be used to help strengthen the teacher retirement fund, but will instead be pass-through revenue to the state similar to any other tax.

Our children and their futures should be a priority for every resident in Connecticut, as should their teachers, whose lives are dedicated to providing quality education.

CEA Goes to Court to Block Education Funding Cuts

CEA joined with Torrington and Plainfield teachers, a Brooklyn parent and her two children, and the municipalities of Torrington, Plainfield, and Brooklyn yesterday to file a lawsuit against cuts to education in the governor’s executive order.

“We have taken this action to prevent our schools from being stripped of critical resources because that will cause irreparable harm to our students,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. Read more

CEA Calls on Legislators to Convene Immediately to Create a Real Bipartisan Budget

Today, Governor Malloy reaffirmed his decision to veto the budget that passed this weekend. CEA agrees that a better bipartisan budget is needed for Connecticut, and is calling on legislators to convene immediately to craft a budget that works for all of us and invests in public education.

In order to move Connecticut forward, a real bipartisan budget must: Read more

Latest on the State Budget

Hartford Capitol SummerThroughout the state budget process, CEA members have been strong advocates. In just the last three days, more than 4,000 emails were sent by CEA members to their representatives and state senators. Here’s what happened at the Capitol Friday and Saturday:

Democrats were expected to pass their budget.

In the State Senate three Democrats—Paul Doyle, Gayle Slossberg, and Joan Hartley—all voted for the Republican budget. As a result, the Republican budget proposal passed by a vote of 21 to 15. Read more

Urge Legislators to Pass a Budget That Invests in Public Education

This is our last chance to have our voices heard before the budget vote.

Legislators are expected to vote on a budget this Thursday or Friday. School budgets across the state are at risk.

Click here and take action immediately.

Tell legislators: Read more

Groton Education Association Spearheads Solidarity Day Against ECS Cuts

Groton Solidarity Day

Butler Elementary School teachers gathered in the library to write their letters to legislators.

Groton legislators have been overwhelmed by correspondence from constituents urging them to protect education funding. A grassroots campaign spearheaded by the Groton Education Association (GEA) sent over 300 handwritten letters to legislators’ homes.

GEA President Beth Horler proposed the effort after news first broke that Groton Public Schools could lose millions of dollars in Education Cost Sharing (ECS) funds.

The funding cuts would affect all students and all aspects of the school system and the town. Horler talked to Superintendent Michael Graner and got the entire school system on board with holding a solidarity day.
Read more

Governor Outlines Commitment to Funding for Many Public Schools

CEA President Sheila Cohen joined Governor Malloy and other state and teacher union leaders

At a State Capitol news conference today CEA President Sheila Cohen said she is happy that the governor recognizes the need for increased funding for public schools.

Despite the state’s fiscal woes, Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced a proposal to increase Education Cost Sharing (ECS) funding to 117 of the state’s 169 cities and towns, while maintaining level funding for the remaining municipalities.

CEA President Sheila Cohen, CEA Vice President Jeff Leake, CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg, AFT-CT President Melodie Peters, and AFT-CT First Vice President Stephen McKeever joined the governor, Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, and State Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor at a news conference at the State Capitol for the announcement.

The governor said that education is a priority and the state needs to provide additional money, especially to build on the Alliance District, Commissioner’s Network, and other school improvement efforts. Malloy said, “We have an obligation to each and every student in our schools to provide them with a quality public education so they can compete in the 21st century economy.”

Cohen said, “Connecticut is fortunate to have a governor who understands that investing in public education will bring future economic, social, and fiscal returns. Too often decisions about our children’s future are driven by budgetary realities, rather than what would ultimately be best for public schools students in the long term. Connecticut can’t build a strong local economy unless it provides high-quality education, and the state can’t have high-quality schools without adequate funding.”

Under the plan, ECS funding will increase by more than $50 million in 2014, and more than $101 million in 2015.

The governor also announced a new collaboration between the State Department of Education and CEA and AFT-CT.  According to state officials, the new partnership is aimed at promoting the teaching profession by attracting top teaching candidates to Connecticut schools, retaining our best teachers, and providing advancement opportunities for teachers over the course of their careers. The plan calls for several million dollars in competitive grants to fund recruiting and retaining programs in two or three districts.

“We are pleased with this partnership, which appears to create the conditions necessary to further the teaching profession,” said Cohen. “It is imperative that Connecticut do all it can to recruit, attract, and keep the best and brightest teachers in the classroom. These professionals need to keep growing and learning, increasing their effectiveness so that they can elevate achievement and prepare students for the future challenges in our 21st century workforce.”

The governor will outline specifics of the proposal during his budget address to the legislature tomorrow afternoon.