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
Ridgefield teacher Liz Misiewicz called on members of the State Board of Education to support restoration of TEAM funding.
Connecticut’s Teacher Education And Mentoring (TEAM) program is one of the nation’s most highly regarded induction and support programs for new teachers. After state funding for the program was unexpectedly eliminated from the new state budget, CEA has continued to strongly advocate for a restoration of TEAM funding.
At the State Board of Education meeting in January, CEA leaders and staff joined Ridgefield teacher Liz Misiewicz and Bridgeport new teacher coordinator and TEAM facilitator Michael Brosnan in calling on members to support the restoration of TEAM funding. Read more
CEA President Sheila Cohen and AFT-Connecticut President Jan Hochadel sent a letter to legislators urging them to convene a special session to restore ECS funding.
At a town budget meeting December 18, hundreds of teachers, students, and community members made their views known by carrying signs and wearing stickers that said, “Cuts Hurt Kids,” “Fund Public Schools,” and “Every Student Matters. Every Teacher Matters.”
A tremendous turnout of Stratford educators, families, and CEA leaders and staff at a special budget meeting of the new town council last night ensured that municipal leaders heard—and sent—a clear message to Stratford’s superintendent of schools: No teacher layoffs.
While the nine-member council ultimately voted 8–1 to accept a budget that includes $700,000 in education cuts, they strongly denounced any plans to cut teachers’ jobs. At issue was the superintendent’s proposal to lay off 43 teachers, including half of the district’s reading specialists, in the middle of the current school year. Read more
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
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
The Connecticut Education Association, the city of Torrington, the towns of Brooklyn, Stratford, and Plainfield, as well as teachers, students, and parents in those municipalities withdrew their lawsuit against the state today. The group was seeking an injunction against the governor’s executive order that cut $557 million in education funding to cities and towns.
“On Tuesday, the governor signed the bipartisan budget into law, ending the draconian education cuts that jeopardized our students’ futures,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “With the new budget, millions in education funding will be restored to cities and towns across the state, and a new commission will help secure the equitable distribution of funds in the future.”
Under the executive order, all four municipalities in the lawsuit sustained major cuts. The new budget, however, restores 95 percent of education funding to the majority of cities and towns across the state, including the four municipalities named in the court action. Read more
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