CEAGo News July 20, 2017

YOUR PENSION UNDER FIRE: BUDGET VOTE EXPECTED MONDAY

Legislators are expected to vote on a budget plan on Monday that impacts your livelihood.

Legislators Need to Hear from You! Contact your legislators today and tell them:

1) No cost shift
2) No increase in teacher pension contributions
3) No cuts to ECS funding

Tell your legislators to vote against any attacks on students, teachers, and public education, and to respect teachers’ contributions to Connecticut’s children and the future of our state.

CONNECTICUT SCHOOLS LEAD THE NATION

One of the best things Connecticut has going for it, according to a new report, is its public schools. Read story.


shiny apple to Bridgeport teachers who spoke up against plans to take funding away from Bridgeport public schools to expand charter schools.


rotten apple to legislators who want to balance the state budget on our backs. Contact your legislators today. Tell them to support a budget that works for all of us and invests in our schools.

Contact your legislators here.

OCTOBER 14 – SAVE THE DATE
CONNECTICUT TEACHERS GRADUATE SCHOOL FAIR

9am – noon
Wesleyan University

Join Connecticut universities and colleges to explore their graduate programs and learn more about the new professional certification requirements with representatives from the state, AFT-CT, and CEA. Hosted by AFT-CT, CEA, CSDE, and Wesleyan University, this event is free for Connecticut teachers.

Register for free event.

DON’T MISS OUT ON YOUR TWO FREE MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTIONS

Choose from a variety of premier fashion, sports, science, beauty, and fitness magazines. Click below to see more than 40 available titles. Your membership ID number is required.

TEACHER APPRECIATION DAY AT THE YARD GOATS

Hartford Yard Goats baseball fans, come to CEA Member Appreciation Days this season—Saturday, July 29, and Friday, August 11. Get $2 off tickets and enjoy special teacher recognition and fireworks after each game! Go to ticketreturn.com and logon using: UserID: CEA2017 and Password: yardgoats2017.

Not out of the woods yet on health care

  Don’t let the Senate take away health insurance from 32 million people. 
Please call 1-855-764-1010 now.

I am so grateful to the thousands of you who called your senators telling them to reject the terrible Trumpcare plan that would take health insurance away from millions of people while giving billions of dollars in tax cuts to health insurers and drug makers.

Your calls are working, but we can’t take our foot off the gas!

Right now, Republican leaders are devising a new plan to make things even worse: stripping health insurance away from 32 million people and repealing much of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) without producing a replacement plan. It’s terrifying and irresponsible.

Will you call now? Dial 1-855-764-1010 to be connected with your senators. Then let us know how it went.

You don’t need any special talking points to shut this down: Just tell your senator to stop the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Please call 1-855-764-1010 to be connected to your senators. Then report back here. 

Thank you for making this critical call. 
– Lily
Lily Eskelsen García
President
National Education Association

Budget Forum with Legislators

Some state legislators are holding citizen budget forums this week, and they need to hear from teachers. Some budget proposals currently being considered threaten public education and teacher pensions.

If you live or teach in New London, East Hartford, Stratford, Hartford, Wallingford, Cheshire, or Southington please attend a forum and share your views about how these plans would hurt students and teachers. (See times and locations below.)

The two plans being considered would:

  • increase teacher contributions to pensions by 30% (from 6% to 8% of salary); and
  • shift state costs for teacher retirement plans onto cities and towns, resulting in higher property taxes and cuts to local public school funding, layoffs, larger class sizes, and fewer resources for communities across the state.

Tell your legislators to keep their promise to teachers and not balance the budget on the backs of students and teachers. Legislators should not put the future of our children at risk. Here are the top 5 points to stress to your legislators:

  • Create a budget that works for all of us and invests in public education.
  • Oppose a cost shift because it raises property taxes and cuts local school budgets.
  • Avoid any increases or taxes on teachers’ retirement contributions.
  • Teachers do not receive Social Security.
  • Teachers have done and continue to do their part and pay their fair share—especially compared to other states—and should not be the scapegoats for the state’s failure.

You may also share with them the following:

  • Connecticut needs an identifiable, stable, and reliable source for funding the state’s constitutional obligation to provide educational opportunity to all of Connecticut’s public school students.
  • Be fair, responsible, and transparent in decisions affecting the state budget and state funding for our schools.
  • Create a budget that examines new revenue sources to address continued deficits and the state’s chronic underfunding of our public schools.
  • Connecticut’s teachers are dedicated professionals who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
  • The teaching profession is in jeopardy.
  • Enrollment in state teacher preparation programs is down more than 30% and schools are facing shortages in key subject areas.
  • Connecticut needs education and budgetary polices that attract people to teaching rather than discouraging them from entering the profession.

Please speak with your legislators and share these facts with them, as well as your own personal stories.

Legislators have scheduled the following budget forums this week.

New London State Budget Forum
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
5:30 p.m.
New London Public Library Community Room
63 Huntington Street, New London

Stratford Town Hall Meeting on the State Budget
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
6 p.m.
Baldwin Center
1000 West Broad Street, Stratford

Wallingford Budget Town Hall Meeting
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
4 – 5:30 p.m.
Wallingford Public Library
200 North Main St, Wallingford

East Hartford Citizen’s Budget Workshop
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
6 – 8 p.m.
Raymond Library
840 Main Street, East Hartford

Cheshire Budget Town Hall Meeting
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
6:30 – 8 p.m.
Cheshire Town Hall
84 Main St, Cheshire

Hartford State Budget Forum
Thursday, July 13, 2017
5 p.m.
West Indian Social Club
3340 Main Street, Hartford

Southington Budget Town Hall Meeting
Thursday, July 13, 2017
6:30 – 8 p.m.
Southington Town Hall
75 Main St, Southington

NEA RA Delegates Call for Increased Accountability for Charters

Teacher delegates in Boston voted to approve a new Policy Statement on Charter Schools. It reinforces NEA’s support of efforts to limit charter growth and increase charter accountability, and slow the diversion of resources from neighborhood public schools to charters.

Actor, director, and author LeVar Burton received the 2017 NEA Friend of Education Award.

Click here to read more on CEA blog

CEAGo News July 5, 2017

LATEST PROPOSALS HURT TEACHERS

The new fiscal year has started without a state budget. Legislators are trying to piece together a budget, and the latest proposal would increase your contribution to your teacher retirement plan.

Read CEA President Sheila Cohen’s reaction to the proposed plan.

shiny apple to state legislators who continue to oppose any cost shift of the teacher retirement plan that would hurt our schools and increase our property taxes.

BE READY TO TAKE ACTION

As we have seen, anything can happen, and any issue—from cost shifts to increased teacher retirement contributions—can be brought forward in a short time. We must be vigilant and ready to fight back against any attacks on teachers. Be ready to pick up the phone and call your legislators. Tell them we need a budget that works for all of us and invests in our public schools.


rotten apple to legislators who are trying to balance the state budget on the backs of students and teachers.

OCTOBER 14 – SAVE THE DATE
CONNECTICUT TEACHERS GRADUATE SCHOOL FAIR

9am – noon
Wesleyan University

Join Connecticut universities and colleges to explore their graduate programs and learn more about the new professional certification requirements with representatives from the state, AFT-CT, and CEA. Hosted by AFT-CT, CEA, CSDE, and Wesleyan University, this event is free for Connecticut teachers.

Register for free event.


SLC VENDOR FAIR

More than a dozen CEA/NEA Member Benefits Partners, including several new ones, will showcase their products and services at the Summer Leadership Conference July 31-August 2, at the Mohegan Sun Convention Center. Hear how they can help you save money on everything from vacations to insurance. The Member Benefits Partners are offering some great raffle prizes too, including

  • A 7-day stay at a Mayan resort in Mexico from NEA Vacations and NEA Click and Save
  • $200 VISA gift card from CarePatrol (new CEAMB partner)
  • $100 gift card from USI Insurance
  • BOSE SoundLink Mini II Bluetooth Speaker from Buyer’s Edge
  • Free eye exam and single vision glasses from Optical Academy (new CEAMB partner)
  • $50 gift card from NEAMB
  • $50 gift card from California Casualty
  • Two tickets to Les Miserables from the Bushnell
  • Four admission passes, four movie passes, and a swag bag from the Connecticut Science Center
  • Two admission passes from Mystic Aquarium

  PLAY GOLF WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES AND SUPPORT STUDENTS IN NEED

You can make a difference in a child’s life just by playing golf in the Connecticut Education Foundation’s 23rd annual Hands Across the Green Golf Tournament to benefit The Children’s Fund (CEF). It will be held at the Glastonbury Hills Country Club on Monday, July 17, 2017.

Read the Golf Tournament brochure here.

GET YOUR THRILLS FOR LESS

Quassy Amusement Park now offers discounts for CEA members and their guests. Save more than $5 per ticket! Details at cea.org/mb.


WORKING ON THAT BEACH BODY?

CEA members receive one week free membership and 50% off the enrollment fee at Healthtrax Fitness. Details at cea.org/mb.


DOWNWARD DOG DAYS OF SUMMER

CEA members now save up to 38% at Sacred Rivers Yoga in East Hartford. Drop-in rates for CEA members, $10 (regularly $16). A 10-class package is $100 (regularly $139). Show your CEA membership card to receive your discount.

URGENT: Medicaid and Our Students

Call now to save Medicaid for our students!

Our students need your help. Among all the dangerous consequences this new “healthcare” bill will have, one of the most alarming is how it will completely dismantle Medicaid. Republican senators are feeling the pressure from your calls, and have been forced to push the vote from this week until after the July 4th congressional recess. We must keep the pressure on.

Here’s what’s at stake:

More than a third of all children in America receive their health insurance through Medicaid, but for our students and their families this isn’t only about insurance. Medicaid provides $4 billion per year for healthcare services in our nation’s schools – that’s vision and hearing screenings, physical and occupational therapy for students with disabilities, and other critical services that keep our students healthy and ready to learn.

You don’t have to take my word for it. On Monday the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said this bill will end Medicaid coverage for at least 15 million people, including millions of our students, over the next 10 years.

Click here to call your senators right now, and demand they vote NO. Even if you think they’re definitely voting for the bill, or definitely voting against, and even if you’ve already called – every last senator needs to keep hearing from their constituents on this.

If this bill passes with these Medicaid cuts, it will endanger our nation’s children and affect millions of students’ education. Take two minutes and call.

– Lily

Lily Eskelsen García
President
National Education Association

CEA Summer Leadership Conference – July 31-August 2, 2017

CALL NOW: Dangerous Healthcare Bill

A small group of Republican senators have been working behind closed doors to take health care away from millions of American families. Details are starting to emerge and, like the horrible bill that recently passed the House, the Senate bill will radically cut Medicaid and undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
They are trying to rush through a vote NEXT WEEK without any chance for public input or hearings. We can’t let that happen. Right now is the time for you to speak up.
This plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act is just cruel. It would slash and cap Medicaid, and as many as 24 million Americans of all stripes, including educators and their families, will lose their care or find themselves suddenly unable to afford coverage. They will create all of this suffering while giving massive tax cuts to the extraordinarily wealthy.
Please make a call today. Senators have told us their phones aren’t ringing, even with a vote rapidly approaching on a bill that would make such a huge difference in the lives of millions. Your senators need to hear from you. Our students, educators, and communities are depending on us to stop this.
Lily Eskelsen García
President
National Education Association