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Posts tagged ‘education committee’

Teachers to Legislators: ‘Our Students Are Screaming Out for Help’

More than 50 Connecticut teachers, together with CEA leaders and staff, provided compelling testimony Monday in support of strengthening a bill that would integrate social-emotional learning (SEL) into teachers’ professional development.

In a public hearing that stretched into the evening, dozens of teachers submitted written and oral testimony before the legislature’s Education Committee concerning House Bill 5378, An Act Concerning the Integration of Social-Emotional Learning in Programs of Professional Development for Educators in Connecticut.

Many teachers turned out to testify on the importance of strengthening a bill about social-emotional learning, including Stacey Paley, Windsor; Carrie Cassady, Torrington; Kristen Record, Stratford; Lisa Thomas, Windsor; Kristen Lecco, Granby; Natalie Ferreri, Granby; and Lynne DeVito, Windsor.

While educators support a bill that provides for SEL PD, they believe HB 5378 does not go far enough to address the severity of the social-emotional crisis in their classrooms. They asked legislators to include additional provisions that would lead to meaningful change.

“The limited provisions of HB 5378 may be well intentioned, but they are woefully inadequate,” said CEA Executive Director Donald Williams, noting that most teachers and administrators are aware of SEL needs and priorities, and that simply requiring that SEL be incorporated in a school’s goals and professional development has already been achieved at many schools.

“The real challenge is to provide real resources to address the needs of students,” said Williams. “New, empty mandates are no substitute for the staff and dollars that many schools lack to appropriately address social-emotional learning and trauma-informed instruction. There is a deficit of school social workers, counselors, and psychologists. There are few dollars to provide the sustained, quality services that are necessary for student mental health and well-being. There is not enough infrastructure for the necessary outreach to families and inclusion of families in solutions for students.” Read more

CEA Members, Leaders Support Teaching of African-American and Puerto Rican and Latino Studies

“Our students would only benefit from having more opportunities to learn about the culture, struggles, and contributions of African-Americans and Latinos throughout history,” Waterbury teacher Sean Mosley told the legislature’s Education Committee at a hearing today. He was speaking out on two bills that would ensure the inclusion of African-American as well as Puerto Rican and Latino Studies in school curricula.

Waterbury teacher Sean Mosley, chair of CEA’s Ethnic and Minority Affairs Commission, testified before the Education Committee today.

“CEA wholeheartedly supports House Bills 7082 and 7083 and believes integrating the history and struggles of Blacks, Puerto Ricans, and other Latinos into the state’s required curricula is long overdue,” CEA President Jeff Leake told lawmakers. “The history of these groups is tightly interwoven with U.S. history, but we have not given it the prominence it deserves.” Read more

Crisis in the Classroom: Legislators Need to Hear From You

Many Connecticut children are losing out on learning time when disruptive behavior from another student continually interrupts the school day. Problematic student behavior is a major problem in our schools, but many legislators aren’t aware of what’s happening in your classroom. They need to hear your stories.

On Friday, February 22, the legislature’s Education Committee will be holding a public hearing on legislation that protects students and teachers from dangerous situations in the classroom, and provides support and services for students who act out. Legislators need to hear from you!

Click here to submit written testimony now.

You can submit your story under your own name, or anonymously.

If you are interested in testifying and sharing your story in person with the Education Committee on February 22, please contact myvoice@cea.org.

When Was the Last Time You Talked to Your Legislators?

Meeting with State Senator Toni Boucher (3rd from right) were local Association leaders Ronna Van Veghel, New Canaan; Vivian Birdsall, New Canaan; Jeanne Deming, Ridgefield; Al Anderson, Bethel; Cynthia Rohr, Redding; John Horrigan, Westport; Andrew Nicsaji, Wilton.

Meeting with State Senator Toni Boucher (3rd from right) were local Association leaders Ronna Van Veghel, New Canaan; Vivian Birdsall, New Canaan; Jeanne Deming, Ridgefield; Al Robinson, Bethel; Cynthia Rohr, Redding; John Horrigan, Westport; and Andrew Nicsaji, Wilton.

Do your state senator and state representative know who you are? Thanks to a meeting over coffee on a recent Saturday, Senator Toni Boucher now knows the names and faces of leaders of each of the local CEA affiliates in the towns that she represents.

And Boucher knows that those seven local presidents and vice presidents represent over 3,000 teachers who vote and are strong advocates for their students and their profession.

Read more