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The death of George Floyd and those of other African Americans as well as the inequities some of their students face weigh heavily on the minds of many educators. To show their support for their students and community the East Hartford Education Association Ethnic Minority Affairs Commission is organizing a peaceful rally and march this Saturday in East Hartford in partnership with CEA and Young-Educated-Determined to Succeed, Inc.
Monique Butler, who teaches fourth grade at East Hartford’s Norris Elementary School, is one of the educators who has been hard at work with colleagues and community members organizing the rally called BLACKOUT, which stands for Black Lives Actually Can’t Keep being Oppressed Until Tomorrow. The rally will take place Saturday, June 20, from noon to 3 p.m.
Butler says, “The overall message I’m sending is that we all stand together. I am working with East Hartford police to have a safe route, to practice social distancing, and to ensure our kids are seen and heard.” The organizers are also asking all participants to wear masks. Read more
The safety and well-being of our students and teachers are top priorities for CEA. In the wake of last month’s tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida, school safety is once again in the national spotlight, and the push to ensure that public schools are safe havens now has the force of millions of young people behind it.
Many CEA members have expressed an interest in participating in March for Our Lives rallies on March 24, where they plan to stand with students and advocate for decisive, meaningful Congressional action to ensure school safety.
CEA has chartered a bus to Washington, D.C., and is organizing free bus transportation to Hartford. Read more
CEA President Sheila Cohen joined labor leaders from across the state and legislators at a rally today in Hartford as the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Janus vs. AFSCME.
“Stand up. Rise up. Lift up. No justice, no peace.”
That was the rallying cry of more than 350 union workers on the steps of the Connecticut Supreme Court in Hartford today. CEA leaders were joined by labor leaders from across the state and legislators in speaking out to protect the rights and freedom of workers to negotiate together and fight for decent and equitable pay, affordable health care, quality schools, and vibrant communities.
Workers held simultaneous rallies in three other cities across Connecticut—New Haven, Stamford, and Storrs—as oral arguments were heard in the U.S. Supreme Court in the Janus vs. AFSCME case which threatens to take away worker’s collective rights and freedoms of the middle class. Read more
East Hartford Education Association President Annie Irvine rallied students, teachers, and community members yesterday in East Hartford,
The East Hartford community had an important message for Betsy DeVos yesterday, and the media at both the state and national levels took note.
Check out some of the great news coverage of the East Hartford rally:
And click here for photos from the rally.
CEA President Sheila Cohen spoke this morning surrounded by East Hartford students, teachers, and parents.
“DeVos Wrong, East Hartford Strong!” That was the chant from more than 200 teachers, paraprofessionals, students, parents, and community members gathered on the front lawn of East Hartford High School this morning. The East Hartford community came together to protest remarks made by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos last week criticizing the East Hartford Public School System despite never having set foot in any of the district’s schools.
Emceeing the protest was Dr. John A. Langford Elementary School third-grade teacher and East Hartford Education Association President Annie Irvine, who said she was overwhelmed by the community response and grateful for the opportunity to “stand together and tell our collective story.” Irvine noted, “Mrs. DeVos has pointed out that she has no idea about the learning happening in our classrooms in East Hartford and across the country.” Read more
Given the uncertainty and continually changing elements of the state budget, the Keep Your Promise Rally scheduled for May 18 has been postponed.
We will review and update you on new budget proposals expected in the coming days–please stay tuned for a call to action.
CEA is urging legislators to reject any budget proposal that shifts the state’s responsibility for education funding and teacher retirement onto Connecticut’s cities and towns.
This proposed cost shift would result in
- higher property taxes
- teacher layoffs
- larger class sizes
- reductions in critical student support services
- elimination of programs such as foreign language and full-day kindergarten in many districts
CEA members traveled to New Hampshire today to rally in support of public education at an education summit featuring Republican presidential candidates.
“It was disappointing that teachers were not allowed to participate or attend a summit on education today—go figure,” said Westport librarian, Association president, and NEA Director John Horrigan.
Horrigan was one of nearly 40 CEA members and staff, and more than 100 teachers from around New England, who rallied in Londonderry, New Hampshire, where Republican presidential candidates were participating in an education summit.
“Republican presidential candidates need to seek teacher input, not turn us away,” said New Hampshire teacher Penny Culliton, who was refused entry to the GOP Education Summit (watch video), despite having a ticket to the event and driving an hour and a half to get there. Read more