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Posts tagged ‘education 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

CEA Members Continue to Press for TEAM Funding

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

Our Students Can’t Wait: Teachers Send Letter to Legislators Urging Restoration of ECS Funds

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.

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Standing Stronger Together, Stratford Teachers, Community Send Clear Message: No Teacher Layoffs

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

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

CEA, Teachers, Students, Parents, and Municipalities Withdraw Lawsuit

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

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.

Statement From CEA President Sheila Cohen on Passage of Bipartisan State Budget

CEA’s fight for a fair budget that invests in public education has ended in the legislature with a bipartisan agreement that does not substantially cut ECS funding or shift the cost of teacher retirement onto cities and towns. Under this budget, education funding for the state’s poorest districts would not be cut, and the remaining 139 school districts would lose five percent of funding. Next year, some of the funding is restored under an updated distribution formula. Click here to see how your district fares under this budget.

While we do not agree with everything in the budget, we do appreciate the effort of legislators to protect education funding for our students and schools and to solve the budget impasse. This agreement restores much-needed funding to our school districts, preventing teacher layoffs as well as cuts to programs and resources that would have led to larger class sizes and fewer opportunities for our students. Read more

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