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Posts tagged ‘state budget’

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

State Budget Eliminates TEAM Funding, Find Out What This Means for You

State funding for TEAM, the Teacher Education And Mentoring program, was unexpectedly wiped out in the budget that passed in October. TEAM is one of the most highly regarded new teacher induction and support programs in the country, and we all would like to see it remain so.

What does this funding elimination mean for beginning teachers and mentors?

CEA is working hard, advocating for a restoration of funding to TEAM and has been raising teachers’ concerns with legislators and the state Department of Education. Your advocacy is critical to the fight to restore the program.

If TEAM has benefited you and the students in your district, please share your story with your state legislators and/or members of the State Board of Education.

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 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 to Legislators: Yes, It Is a Teacher Tax

CEA President Sheila Cohen today sent a letter to legislators explaining why teachers oppose the teacher payroll tax in the latest budget proposal.

Some legislators have been telling teachers the increased pension contribution is not a tax. Read the letter below to understand why it is, in fact, a tax—a tax that unfairly targets teachers.

Then click here and contact your legislators.

Dear Legislator,

I am writing to express my appreciation for your work this session under very difficult budgetary circumstances. CEA also appreciates the work that leadership in both parties have invested into the tentative bipartisan budget agreement.

You may question why CEA opposes the increase in the teacher payroll tax from six to seven percent. That is a fair question, and I want to share with you facts about the payroll tax increase so that we are all on the same page. Read more

Teachers Speak Out Against the Teacher Tax

Thousands of teachers are emailing their legislators about the teacher tax in the latest state budget proposal. Please click here and join them.

Then read a statement from CEA President Sheila Cohen and watch why your colleagues say the teacher tax is unfair.

STATEMENT FROM CEA PRESIDENT SHEILA COHEN ON TEACHER TAX

Teachers stand together, unequivocally opposed to a teacher tax. It will not help balance the state budget and can and must be eliminated.

Over the years, the state has not fully funded or paid its share of the teacher retirement plan— which, at 4.56%, is less than what teachers have contributed for decades. It is unfair to punish teachers with an increase in the payroll tax to pay a portion of the state’s share.

Some legislators are saying the increase in the teacher retirement payroll tax is not a tax increase. Of course it is a tax increase! Teachers should not be punished for the state’s mistakes.

Teachers do not receive Social Security and are dependent on their retirement fund. Legislators must keep their promise to teachers, who have fully funded their fair share of teacher retirement for decades.

Tax on Teachers Is Back, Cost Shift Still in Play

Legislative leaders are again trying to craft a state budget, and again trying to balance the budget on the backs of students and teachers.

The teacher tax is once again being considered, along with the plan to shift the cost of teacher retirement contributions onto our cities and towns.

Contact your legislators today.

CEA members must continue to speak out and oppose these harmful proposals.

  • Reject a tax on teachers
  • Reject a cost shift
  • Invest in, don’t cut, public education

 

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

CEA, Teachers, Students, Parents, and Municipalities Take the State to Court to Prevent $557 Million in Education Funding Cuts

The Connecticut Education Association, the city of Torrington, the towns of Brooklyn and Plainfield, as well as teachers, students, and parents in those municipalities are taking the state to court over the loss of millions in education funding.

Today, the group filed a lawsuit in Hartford Superior Court seeking an injunction against Governor Malloy’s executive order that strips more than $557 million in education funding from the majority of the state’s public schools and puts children’s futures at risk.

“We can’t sit by and watch our public schools dismantled and students and teachers stripped of essential resources,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “This injunction is the first step toward ensuring that our state lives up to its commitment and constitutional obligations to adequately fund public education.” Read more