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.

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.

CEAGo News June 19, 2017

WE ARE STRONGER TOGETHER

Thanks to our combined efforts—your activism and CEA leadership—Connecticut legislators struck down a plan that would have threatened public education and teachers’ pensions. But our work is not over, and the threat is still there as legislators try to develop a budget plan in special session this summer.

Read CEA President Sheila Cohen’s message.

STAY CONNECTED THIS SUMMER

We know this is your time to relax, recharge, and be with family, but legislators are not taking a break from presenting plans that could hurt our students, our schools, and our profession. Visit cea.org and make sure your home email address is current so that you don’t miss out on timely information you need.

BE READY TO TAKE ACTION

Legislative leaders are meeting behind closed doors, scrambling to come up with a new budget, and whatever they decide will impact us. If the outcome is negative, we won’t have much time to fight it.

Be ready to take action immediately when your CEA leaders reach out to you.

 


 

SHINY APPLE

A shiny apple to State Rep. Matthew Lesser for spearheading a bill that passed the legislature requiring all 403(b) retirement plan providers to disclose fees and compensation to teachers.

Read the New York Times story.

SUMMER LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

This year’s CEA Summer Leadership Conference will be held July 31 – August 2, 2017, at the Mohegan Sun Convention Center. Each Local Association may send up to eight free attendees this year.

New this year: One-Day Conference Option: Wednesday, August 2. Please view the Summer Leadership Brochure to see your training and overnight accommodation options prior to registering.


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.

MAKE A SPLASH THIS SUMMER

Save on admission to Quassy Amusement Park and Lake Compounce with your CEA member discount. Visit cea.org/mb for details.


A WHALE OF A TIME

Save $5 on admission (up to four people) at Mystic Aquarium when you show your CEA membership card.

CEAGo May 30, 2017

CEA MEMBERS SCHOOL BETSY DEVOS

Hundreds of students, parents, and teachers rallied for public education and against efforts to undermine and underfund our public schools. Teachers’ voices were heard! Read news stories and watch the television coverage.

Read BlogCEA

Watch television news coverage

Fox 61

WFBS-TV 3

NBC Connecticut TV 30

WTNH TV 8

Check out the photos from the rally

A shiny apple to U.S. Congressman. John Larson and the hundreds of teachers, students, paraprofessionals, and community members who attended our rally in East Hartford and stood up and spoke out against attacks on our schools and our teachers.

NEW CEA TV AD

Parents criticize the governor and some legislators for their plans to balance the budget on the backs of their children and teachers, in CEA’s newest TV ad airing tomorrow.

Watch the ad and hear one young boy school Connecticut’s politicians.

 

We can’t stop now. Keep making those calls to your legislators. Tell them to vote against any proposals that will hurt our students and our schools.

A rotten apple to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, for so many reasons, but just this week for attacking East Hartford public schools and for proposing to cut the federal education budget and giving $1 billion to her special projects for the elite and wealthy.


SUMMER LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

This year’s CEA Summer Leadership Conference will be held July 31 – August 2, 2017 at the Mohegan Sun Convention Center. Each Local Association may send up to eight free attendees this year.

New this year: One Day Conference Option: Wednesday, August 2. Please view the Summer Leadership Brochure to see your training and overnight accommodation options prior to registering.

10% OFF AT GOODYEAR AUTO SERVICE CENTERS

CEA members receive 10% off any auto service and tire purchases, and free flat tire repair at any Goodyear Auto Service Centers in Connecticut. Members who purchase winter snow tires also receive seasonal change overs for the life of the tires. Show your CEA membership card to receive the discount.

40% OFF AT THEATERWORKS

Teachers pay only $30 on tickets valued at $50. Use promo code CEA30 at theaterworkshartford.org or request your CEA discount when you call the box office (860.527.7838). Patrons must present their CEA membership card at the door.

CEAGo May 15, 2017

GOVERNOR’S NEW BUDGET PLAN: UNACCEPTABLE

The governor’s new budget plan released today is unacceptable to Connecticut educators. It still shifts the cost of the teacher pension fund to cities and towns.

More budget proposals from legislators are expected in the coming days, and we will review and update you on how these will impact education funding and teacher retirement.

Watch for a call to action from CEA, as we stand ready to fight against these attacks on our students, our profession, and our future.


A shiny apple to you for your advocacy and willingness to fight for what is right.

KEEP YOUR PROMISE RALLY POSTPONED

With the uncertainty and continually changing elements of the state budget, we have postponed our Keep Your Promise Rally, originally scheduled for May 18.

We need you to continue to join with your colleagues and speak out against plans to shift teacher retirement costs from the state onto cities and towns.

A rotten apple to any legislators—both Democrats and Republicans—who are considering eliminating collective bargaining rights. Today the attacks focus on state employees; tomorrow it will be teachers. We can’t allow Connecticut to become the next Wisconsin.

Click here to contact your legislators and tell them to protect our rights.


SUMMER LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

This year’s CEA Summer Leadership Conference will be held July 31 – August 2, 2017 at the Mohegan Sun Convention Center. Each Local Association may send up to eight free attendees this year.

New this year: One Day Conference Option: Wednesday, August 2. Please view the Summer Leadership Brochure to see your training and overnight accommodation options prior to registering.

CEA MEMBERS SAVE MORE AT BJ’S WHOLESALE CLUB

Pay only $35 for an annual two-person membership (regularly priced at $50). Get details by clicking the Shopping tab at http://www.cea.org/memberbenefits/discounts/


CEA TEACHER APPRECIATION DAYS AT YARD GOATS BASEBALL

The Hartford Yard Goats are holding two CEA Teacher Appreciation Days this summer, July 29 and August 11, with discounted tickets and fireworks after each game. Get more information at http://www.cea.org/memberbenefits/discounts/

CEAGo May 1, 2017

KEEP YOUR PROMISE RALLY:
TELL LEGISLATORS TO OPPOSE COST SHIFTS

CEA members must stand up and speak out against plans to shift teacher retirement costs from the state onto cities and towns. Attend the Keep Your Promise Rally on May 18.

Let your voice be heard! Tell legislators to Keep their Promise to teachers.


A shiny apple to three state legislators who stood with us and spoke out against the cost shift plan.

Hear what Sen. Beth Bye, Rep. Derek Slap, and Rep. Joseph Verrengia said at the news conference.

COALITION CALLS FOR FAIR FUNDING

CEA has formed a coalition of diverse education and town associations to oppose the cost shift plan that would increase property taxes and cut needed town services for Connecticut residents, whose property tax rates are already among the highest in the country.

Read the news release

Watch the video


A rotten apple to Sen. Bob Duff for proposing to divert public school funding to corporate-style charter schools. Read the stories here and here.


PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE: PENSION ISSUES FOR EARLY CAREER TEACHERS

You may be years away from retirement, but it’s never too early to start planning. This workshop provides an overview of the Connecticut Teachers’ Retirement System with a particular emphasis on issues of interest to teachers in the early phase of their career (less than 15 years of service), although all CEA members are welcome. Register for one of these free workshops.

May 1 DePaolo Middle School
Southington
May 4 Lyman Memorial High School
Lebanon
May 10 Fairfield Warde High School
Fairfield

PLAY BALL: YARD GOATS HOST CEA TEACHER APPRECIATION DAYS

Tickets are now available for CEA Teacher Appreciation Days, hosted by the Hartford Yard Goats. CEA members get discounted admission for games on Saturday, July 29, and Friday, August 11. Stay for free fireworks after each game. Go to www.cea.org/yardgoats and enter user ID CEA2017 and password yardgoats2017.

CEA MEMBERS GET FIRST CHANCE AT PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

Andrew Lloyd Weber’s The Phantom of the Opera is coming to Connecticut this fall—and you have first choice of tickets. Thanks to our partnership with the Palace Theater in Waterbury, CEA members can purchase tickets before they go on sale to the general public. Use presale code CARLOTTA atwww.palacetheaterct.org/phantom anytime May 1-12. Tickets go on sale to the general public on May 15

 

CEAGo April 17, 2017

CALL TO ACTION: TELL LEGISLATORS TO KEEP THE PROMISE

Legislators, including the Democratic Leadership in both the Senate and the House, are pushing for the approval of a scheme to shift a portion of teacher retirement costs from the state to cities and towns. This shift would impact our retirement, our jobs, our students, and the way our schools are funded.

Tell your legislators to Keep the Promise and vote NO on any state budget plan that shifts the cost of teacher retirement contributions from the state to cities and towns across Connecticut.

Click here to contact your legislators

SPEAK TO YOUR LEGISLATORS IN PERSON

Attend a County Forum and tell legislators how their ill-conceived plan to shift pension costs to cities and towns would lead to school funding cuts, hurting teachers and students.

Click here for a list of upcoming County Forums

POLITICAL INSANITY: GREENWICH GETS MORE EDUCATION FUNDING THAN NAUGATUCK

A rotten apple to legislative leaders who are making school funding plans all about politics, not what’s best for students, teachers, and public education.POLITICAL INSANITY: GREENWICH GETS MORE EDUCATION FUNDING THAN NAUGATUCK

TEACHERS’ VOICES HEARD

A shiny apple to State Board of Education members who acted on teachers’ concerns by voting to prohibit the use of state mastery test scores in evaluating teacher performance.

Read CEA’s statement

Read CT Mirror article

Read the “purpose of the state mastery test” statement


MESSAGE TO POLICYMAKERS: DON’T FOLLOW KANSAS, WISCONSIN, AND LOUISIANA

Connecticut lawmakers have introduced numerous anti-union and anti-middle class bills that are bad for Connecticut. Read why these would hurt our economy and our way of life.

Read story


NO PLANS FOR THE WEEKEND? ATTEND EDUCATOR’S WEEKEND AT MYSTIC SEAPORT

Teachers and their families (up to four people) will receive free admission to Mystic Seaport this coming weekend, Saturday and Sunday, April 22-23, 2017. Don’t miss this special opportunity to explore the museum and learn more about educational programs. Staff will be on hand to discuss program offerings and answer questions. Click here for details.


ATTEND A FREE MOVIE SCREENING AND DISCUSSION

Attend a free dinner, screening, and discussion of the Academy Award-nominated documentary 13th, which explores issues of race, justice, and mass incarceration. The April 27 event is free for CEA members. Click here for information.

PLAY BALL: YARD GOATS HOST CEA TEACHER APPRECIATION DAYS

Save the dates! The Hartford Yard Goats are holding two CEA Teacher Appreciation Days this summer, with discounted tickets and fireworks after each game.

• Saturday, July 29, at 6:35 PM versus the Reading Fightin Phils

• Friday, August 11, at 7:05 PM versus the Harrisburg Senators

Look for details in an upcoming email.

SOARING THROUGH THE TREES

CEA members and their families save nearly 40 percent at The Adventure Park. Hike the woodland trails or try their aerial ropes courses and zip lines. To take advantage of your CEA discount at The Adventure Park in Bridgeport, click here. For the Storrs park, visit https://storrsadventurepark.com/cea2017/.

CEAGo April 3, 2017

PEAC ACTS ON TEACHERS’ CONCERNS REGARDING EVALUATIONS

A shiny apple to PEAC members who acted on teachers’ concerns by voting to remove state mastery test scores from teacher evaluations. The Performance Evaluation and Advisory Council made that recommendation to the State Board of Education, who will vote on the issue on April 5.

Read CEA’s statement and what this means for teachers.

Read the “purpose of the state mastery test” statement.

Watch some of CEA President Sheila Cohen’s comments at the PEAC meeting.


DON’T MISS THIS…
AN ILL-CONCEIVED PLAN THAT WOULD HURT TEACHERS AND STUDENTS IS GAINING SUPPORT FROM LEGISLATORS.

The plan would shift teacher retirement pension costs to cities and towns, leading to cuts in our schools. Speak Out. Attend a CEA County Forum and tell your legislators what you think about plans to balance the budget on the backs of students and teachers.

Read CT Mirror article

LEGISLATORS STICK IT TO STUDENTS AND TAXPAYERS

A rotten apple to legislators who don’t care about students or wasting millions of taxpayer dollars earmarked for classrooms. These legislators voted against a bill that would require charter management organizations to stop operating under a veil of secrecy and profiting off taxpayer dollars meant for students.

See which legislators didn’t stand up for students or taxpayers.

Read CEA’s news release: CMOs Cheating Students and Wasting Connecticut Taxpayer Dollars.

CMO executive pay increased $100K in five years.

Read CT News Junkie Article.


WHAT DO GORSUCH, SPECIAL EDUCATION & CCJEF HAVE IN COMMON?

They could be at the center of a Connecticut Supreme Court ruling. Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision that rejected one of Judge Gorsuch’s rulings against students with disabilities, and repudiated his reasoning in the case. The high court’s decision could impact the CCJEF appeal here in Connecticut. Read the story on blogcea.org.

APR Planning Your Retirement: It’s Never Too Early

Learn what you need to know about your retirement. Attend a CEA Retirement Workshop and hear about retirement eligibility, how Social Security may be affected, retiree health insurance, and choosing a retirement plan. Visit cea.org for more information.

CHECK OUT THESE NEW CEA MEMBER DEALS & DISCOUNTS

The Paper Store—a gift, fashion, and home decor retailer—now offers a discount program for CEA members. Register at www.thepaperstore.com/teacher and save 10% off all your in-store purchases, plus receive other special discounts and event invitations throughout the year.


THEATER, ANYONE?

CEA members save 10% to 30% on all Broadway shows at the Palace Theater in Waterbury. Use promo code CEA at palacetheaterct.org. Upcoming shows include Annie, Once, and Phantom of the Opera.

CEAGo March 20, 2017

TEACHERS SPEAK OUT TO PROTECT OUR RIGHTS

Fairfield teacher Bob Smoler told lawmakers to reject a special education bill that could jeopardize teachers’ ability to ensure safe and productive learning environments. Read the story at blogcea.org.

Hear Smoler’s comments about the importance of speaking out and read his testimony.

North Haven teacher Tom Marak shared teachers’ concerns regarding new graduation requirements. Read Marak’s testimony.

CEA’S LEGAL COUNSEL TAKES ACTION TO PROTECT TEACHERS FALSELY ACCUSED OF ABUSE OR NEGLECT

Read Chris Hankins’ testimony regarding DCF unsubstantiated reports.


DID YOU ATTEND?

Nearly 200 teachers participated in CEA’s Professional Development Workshops last weekend. Visit blogcea.org for event highlights.

CARES FUND WOULD PROVIDE ADEQUATE FUNDING FOR ALL PUBLIC SCHOOLS. CEA URGES LEGISLATORS TO ADOPT IT.

Read CEA’s news release and Executive Director Mark Waxenberg’s testimony.

Read about CARES.


A shiny apple to Rep. Matt Lesser for introducing legislation to protect teachers by requiring retirement plan salespeople to disclose conflicts of interest. The bill, HB 7161, would protect teachers’ retirement dollars. Read NY Times article.


A rotten apple to anti-public education corporate reformers who want charter management organizations to operate under a veil of secrecy profiting off taxpayer dollars meant for students. Read the CEA-endorsed bill urging the state to require transparency.

Read CEA’s news release: CMOs Cheating Students and Wasting Connecticut Taxpayer Dollars.

See CMO Executive Salaries.

UPCOMING EVENTS

APR
3-20
Our Vision for the Future…Depends on All of Us

Attend a County Forum and share your concerns with legislators from your district. Join your colleagues and speak out on plans that would impact your retirement, your job, and the way your school is funded. Click here for the complete list of County Forums.


APR
1
New Teacher Conference

Don’t miss CEA’s New Teacher Conference featuring workshops just for teachers with less than 7 years of classroom experience. Register for this workshop.


MAR
APR
Planning Your Retirement: It’s Never Too Early

Learn what you need to know about your retirement. Attend a CEA Retirement Workshop and hear about retirement eligibility, how Social Security may be affected, retiree health insurance, and choosing a retirement plan. Visit cea.org for more information.

SKIERS, GET YOUR LAST HURRAH

Spring may be here, but last week’s snowstorm dumped plenty of fresh powder across the state. Check out Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort’s 20 trails in Middlefield, where CEA members get 20% off 4-hour and 8-hour ski lift tickets. Present your CEA member ID card at the time of purchase.


NEW CONTACT FOR SPECIAL DEAL AT BJ’S WHOLESALE CLUB

BJ’s has announced a new contact person for CEA members looking to take advantage of the $35 annual two-person membership (regularly priced at $50). Contact Maggie Spada at 860-857-2958 or mspada@bjs.com to set up a CEA member account.

CEAGo March 6, 2017

CEA ADVANCES BOLD, NEW PLAN TO FUND PUBLIC EDUCATION

Connecticut needs a predictable, sustainable, and dedicated revenue source for every public school in the state. That’s the message CEA delivered to the legislature’s Education Committee along with a new plan that does just that. Read CEA release.

Read CT News Junkie story

Watch Mark Waxenberg’s testimony


KUDOS TO TEACHERS: NEW POLL RANKS CT EDUCATION AMONG THE BEST

No surprise to teachers that a Connecticut education is among the top in the country. U.S. News & World Report ranks Connecticut 4th in how well students are educated.

Read the report and see where Connecticut ranks in other areas


CEA CALLS FOR OVERSIGHT AND TRANSPARENCY OF CHARTER MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATIONS

CEA called on the legislature to ensure that charter schools run by charter management organizations are transparent in their financial decisions and in their policy decisions that result in excessive expulsion rates and practices that push lower-performing students out of their schools. Read CEA’s testimony.


A shiny apple to Westport Public Schools alumnus Justin Paul, who, after winning an Oscar for Best Original Song in the movie La La Land, praised his Westport teachers and his public school education. Watch his acceptance speech.

A rotten apple to Sen. Art Linares of Westbrook, who at last week’s Education Committee hearing implied that teacher retirement is too high and takes funds away from students.

A rotten apple President Donald Trump who used his first live television address to a joint session of Congress to praise Betsy DeVos and their plan to push school vouchers. Read Ed Week and New York Times articles.

UPCOMING EVENTS

MARCH
18
Professional Development Workshops

Attend one of three exciting professional development workshops CEA is providing to members free of charge on March 18. Register for a workshop.


APRIL
1
New Teacher Conference

Know your rights in and out of the classroom. Attend CEA’s New Teacher Conference for teachers with less than 7 years of classroom experience. Register for this workshop.

SAVE $$ AT THE BUSHNELL

A dozen new shows, from Nickelodeon’s PAW Patrol to Broadway hits and the legendary Tony Bennett. Click here for details on CEA member discounts.


SPECIAL DEAL AT BJ’S WHOLESALE CLUB

CEA members save even more at BJ’s. Click here for details on how to receive a $35 annual two-person membership (regularly priced at $50).