Thanks to the many teachers who reached out and shared their stories with lawmakers, the House and Senate overwhelmingly passed SB 453, An Act Concerning Classroom Safety and Disruptive Behavior.
Unfortunately, the fight is not over. Governor Malloy has vetoed the bill, based on false information and a misrepresentation of the facts.
Your legislators need to hear from you—especially if they have not heard from you yet. This is our last chance to persuade lawmakers to override the governor’s veto. Without your calls to action, this bill will die, and students will lose the best chance they had to get the help they need before it’s too late.
Help set the record straight. Give your legislators the facts and ask for their support in overriding the governor’s veto.
CLICK HEREto contact your legislators one last time on this important issue.
Thanks to hundreds of CEA members who shared their stories about aggressive student behaviors, the legislature’s Education Committee voted Senate Bill 453 out of Committee—meaning the full legislature could have the opportunity to vote on this bill. The bill would help ensure classroom safety and address student assaults.
Make sure your elected officials understand the importance of protecting students and teachers from aggressive student behaviors. This bill would help keep teachers safe while requiring that students with behavioral issues receive the support and resources they need.
CEA UniServ Reps Sue Fulleton and Mike Casey, and Norwich teacher Heidi Kapszukiewicz were some of the CEA members and staff who testified on student assault at a legislative hearing last night.
Although it was after ten o’clock last night by the time the legislature’s Education Committee heard public testimony on a bill to help ensure classroom safety and address student assaults, CEA members and staff made sure they were present to testify so that legislators could hear their stories.
“I am here today to tell you that there is a crisis in many schools across Connecticut related to student and teacher safety. And although it might seem incredulous, the majority of the most serious safety issues are occurring in elementary classrooms, including in pre-kindergarten,” CEA Program Development Specialist Robyn Kaplan-Cho told legislators.
With increasing frequency, teachers are reporting being assaulted by students in their classrooms. From being kicked, bitten, and knocked down to having chairs and books thrown at them, teachers are dealing with a sharp rise in aggressive student behavior that impacts not only educators, but also students. Read more
CEA President Sheila Cohen and AFT-Connecticut President Jan Hochadel today sent a letter to legislators urging them to convene a special session to restore ECS funding. Severe cuts in education funding are devastating the state’s public schools and shortchanging students’ education.
Governor Malloy recently cut an additional $58 million in ECS funding, and more cuts are planned in the new year. As Connecticut’s cities and towns struggle to make up these costs, many are planning to cut school resources, eliminate educational programs, and lay off teachers.
Teachers have been speaking out forcefully against plans to shift the cost of teacher pensions onto cities and towns and raise property taxes, saying such plans would unfairly burden local taxpayers and lead to cuts in education and other essential services.
Yesterday it seemed that lawmakers on a key legislative committee were poised to respond to their constituents’ concerns and pass a budget that would maintain the state’s responsibility to fund retirement costs. At the last minute, budget talks fell apart however, and the Appropriations Committee did not approve a budget. Read more
North Haven teacher and local president Tom Marak talked to his legislators recently in Hamden.
With a proposed state budget that would divide Connecticut’s school districts into winners and losers and saddle towns with one-third of the cost of their teachers’ pensions, it’s vital that legislators hear loud and clear from CEA members.
It’s especially important to speak to your legislators now as some are considering a dangerous plan that would divert funding from local neighborhood schools
Make sure your legislators know where you stand. Forums for teachers who live or work in Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex, and New London Counties are scheduled for next week.
Email the contact for your county (see below) to attend a forum near you.
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.
Kathryn Noonan, a first year teacher in Stonington, said she thinks it’s especially important for new teachers to get involved.
The unprecedented number of calls and emails U.S. senators have received in opposition to the nomination of Betsy DeVos for secretary of education make it clear that teachers understand the outsized role that policy and politics can play in their classrooms.
It’s not just national lawmakers and decisions at the federal level that influence what happens in our schools, however. Often state-level decisions can shape Connecticut schools to a greater degree than federal policies do.
That’s why grassroots organizing and activism here in Connecticut by those who know public education best—teachers—is so critical for ensuring high-quality public education for all Connecticut students. Read more
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