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).

The Supreme Court vs. Students

Nearly every big legal question that affects our nation’s students and educators eventually makes its way to the Supreme Court. It’s essential that we know any new Justice will protect students, and stand up for public education.

But Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s nominee, has a track record that suggests he’ll be dangerous for students and educators. With everything that’s at stake, we must stop Gorsuch.

Sign the petition. Tell your senators to vote no on Gorsuch.
Gorsuch is wrong for students, wrong for educators, and wrong for the Supreme Court. Add your name, and demand your senators vote no on Gorsuch.

Alice O’Brien
NEA General Counsel

Special Budget Edition of CEAGo

GOVERNOR’S BUDGET PLAN CREATES WINNERS AND LOSERS

Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017

In his budget address today, Governor Malloy outlined a plan that threatens our public education system and creates clear winners and losers in every community across the state.

CEA stands firmly against this scheme to divide our schools.

Watch CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg on CT-N urging legislators to put children before politics.

Watch Mark Waxenberg’s interview with FOX 61.

Read how the governor’s budget plans would impact our pensions and healthcare fund. Read CEA’s reaction. Read CT Mirror Article.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE GOVERNOR’S BUDGET PLAN?

From teacher pensions to underfunding education, let your voice be heard at two upcoming hearings at the Legislative Office Building.

Tuesday, Feb. 21, Room 2C, 4 p.m.
Appropriations Committee public hearing on the budget

Wednesday, Feb. 22 (tentative date)
Education Committee public hearing

Contact CEA legislative coordinator Susan Williams for more information and assistance testifying before the committee or submitting written remarks.
A shiny apple to the millions of teachers across the country and right here in Connecticut who called and emailed their senators, urging them to vote against Betsy DeVos.

A rotten apple to those Senate Republicans who put party allegiance ahead of concerns from thousands of their constituents urging them to vote against Betsy DeVos because she is bad for students and public education. Read the latest.

MEET WITH YOUR LEGISLATORS

CEA is hosting at-home meetings with legislative leaders in your district. Contact Chris Donovan to set up a meeting in your local.

JOIN THE TAG TEAM – TEACHER ADVOCATE GRASSROOTS TEAM

Everything legislators do impacts us, and we need to be ready to stand up and fight for our students and our profession. Become a TAG team member and jump into action to educate legislators on key issues. Read more or contact Gus Melita to join your colleagues in this important endeavor.

CEAGo dated Feb. 6, 2017


BUDGET PLAN PUTS TEACHER PENSION, HEALTHCARE FUND, AND SCHOOL FUNDING IN THE CROSSHAIRS

The Governor’s budget address is Wed., Feb. 8, but he has already outlined budget plans that impact our pensions and healthcare fund. Read CEA’s reaction. Read CT Mirror Article

SPECIAL BUDGET EDITION OF CEAGO ON WEDNESDAY

CEA will be paying close attention to the governor’s budget plan and will keep you updated on proposals that impact our students, our schools, and our profession.

Stay tuned to cea.org and blogcea.org for updates and watch for a special CEAgo update in your email on Wednesday with all the budget highlights, video and comments from CEA leaders.

A shiny apple to these Connecticut legislators for introducing bills requested by CEA that would support students, teachers, and public education.

A rotten apple to these Connecticut legislators for introducing anti-public education and anti-union bills that would hurt students and teachers.

EDUCATION NEWS IN ONE PLACE

Don’t have time to search for education news? Stay up-to-date on the news that affects your students and your profession. Visit CTEdwatch.org.

TEACHERS KEEP UP PRESSURE AGAINST BETSY DEVOS

She is the most opposed and unqualified candidate for Secretary of Education since the department was formed more than three decades ago.
More than 1 million teachers and supporters emailed and another 50,000 called their senators, urging them to oppose DeVos.
Senators Blumethal and Murphy held news conferences with Connecticut teachers opposing DeVos. A full senate vote is expected Tuesday.

THE NEXT FRIEDRICHS-TYPE CASE IS APPROACHING

Educators dodged a bullet with last year’s Supreme Court decision in Friedrichs. But teachers and all union employees are targets of anti-union forces hell-bent on trying to destroy our individual and collective bargain rights, and our union—and if Neil Gorsuch becomes the next Supreme Court Justice—that could happen sooner than later. Read A Five Year Assault on Teachers and Unions.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

MARCH
18 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOPS
CEA invites you to attend our free workshops

APRIL
1 NEW TEACHER CONFERENCE
Workshops and networking for early-career teachers

CEA MEMBER DEALS & DISCOUNTS

Save on tickets to Harlem Globetrotters (Feb. 18), Cirque du Soleil (March 15-19) at the XL Center in Hartford. Click here for your discount code.