CEAGo News September 8, 2017

BUDGET VOTE SEPT. 14

Legislators may vote on a new state budget on September 14. Governor Malloy today unveiled a new budget plan that lessens school funding cuts but also imposes new cuts on cities and towns that will impact school budgets.

Read Sheila Cohen’s statement.

Read article.

GROUPS PLAN “MORTAL BLOW” TO UNIONS

Right-wing groups in all 50 states, including Connecticut, are planning to “defund and defang unions.” Read the shocking manifesto outlining how these groups, with millions at their disposal, plan to deal a “mortal blow” to unions.


shiny apple to the All Hands on Deck Coalition for encouraging legislators to fully fund education and examine tax proposals to balance the budget.


rotten apple to the Trump Administration for ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, hurting nearly a million “Dreamers.”

WHAT’S HAPPENING?

Attend a county forum near you and learn what’s happening at the State Capitol and at the federal level and how it will impact you and your classroom. Click here for a list of County Forum dates in your area. Attend a meeting. Learn about your union and get involved.


QUALITY PD IS JUST A CALL OR CLICK AWAY

Are you tired of the same old, boring PD? Get the PD you need, developed and customized by educators, for educators. Contact CEA’s Professional Learning Academy for a complete list of high-quality professional learning opportunities.

CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS

Urge legislators to pass a budget before the Oct. 1 deadline to avoid the implementation of Governor Malloy’s draconian cuts, which would strip $557 million in education funding in 139 districts.

Contact your legislators. Urge them to pass a state budget as soon as possible that:

  1. Protects local school budgets and the education of all children
  2. Maintains critical services for families and communities
  3. Provides for a reliable revenue stream to cure the state’s chronic underfunding of public schools


TEACHERS LEND A HELPING HAND

Connecticut teachers are helping fellow educators in Texas and Louisiana affected by the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey. Click here to find out how you can help your colleagues both financially and emotionally, as they being the slow process of rebuilding their lives.

Free resources are available to help you explain the disaster and answer your students’ questions. Click here for information.

REFRESH YOUR BACK-TO-SCHOOL WARDROBE AT CLINTON CROSSING OR TANGER OUTLETS

CEA members get a free coupon booklet. Details at cea.org/mb.


PLANNING A FIELD TRIP TO MYSTIC SEAPORT THIS YEAR?

Check it out before you go. CEA members get a complimentary anytime pass! Details at cea.org/mb.

 

NPS Employees Have Free Admission to NHS Athletic Events

Brian Mariano wants to let everyone know that all NPS employees have free admission to NHS athletic events. Please present a staff ID when entering. Free admission is for staff only. Family members that attend with you will need to pay admission. This is for regular season games only. Full admission must be paid for NVL tournament games as well as the Thanksgiving football game. “Thank you and I hope to see you at an event.”

NEA: Helping our Family

Being part of NEA means being part of a family—a huge and caring family—that reaches out to each other when disaster strikes.

Since Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 25th, Houston, Rockport, and other communities (totaling 50 counties) have been swamped by the most extreme rain event in U.S. history.

Texans are rising to the tremendous challenge, helping their friends, neighbors, and even complete strangers find shelter and safety. This is the American spirit at its best, when we summon unity and compassion to get through a crisis as one.

That’s why I’m asking you to come together to help our fellow NEA members. We’ve established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund to assist our members in getting back on their feet. Your donations will help them replace belongings and meet the many expenses they will certainly face. Please donate if you can.
DONATE NOW

If you or anyone you know has been affected by Hurricane Harvey, please know that we are here for you.

We’ve compiled resources to help.

Want to support those in crisis? Donate here.

PHOTO: Flickr Creative Commons, Texas National Guard

Your donations will go to support NEA members in Texas and Louisiana affected by Hurricane Harvey, personally and at the schools where they work. NEA will work with the Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA) and the Louisiana Association of Educators (LAE) to disburse funds. Thank you for contributing to help NEA families affected by this disaster.

We estimate that as many as one-third of NEA members in Texas and Louisiana have been impacted or will be in the days to come. They are blessed to be alive, but they will struggle financially and emotionally to rebuild their lives.

Unfortunately, we’re hearing that other areas of the Gulf Coast are sustaining serious damage from the storm as well. Please donate to the relief fund to help our sisters and brothers.

On behalf of affected NEA members, thank you for your prayers and generosity. We will help our sisters and brothers find their way to brighter days and be their anchor through this storm.

– Lily

Lily Eskelsen García
President
National Education Association

P.S. As educators, we know that when disasters like this occur, children are often traumatized and need us to help them heal. Resources are available at www.nea.org/harvey to deal with your students’ fears and questions.

From NEAedJustice…UPDATE: Trump Wants to Deport DREAMers!


Last night, it was reported that President Trump is seriously considering putting an end to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) – a program that is an unqualified success, providing new opportunities and futures for nearly 800,000 Dreamers who live, study, and work in America. They are students, educators, small business owners, healthcare workers, and so many others contributing to their families, communities, and to the country they call home.

In addition, we see a coordinated assault on DACA, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and hardline state AGs in nine other states and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who are also advocating to end the program.

Instead of offering an immigration process that will allow a path to citizenship so that DREAMers can continue to contribute to our communities and economy, hardliners on a crusade against immigrant families are threatening to strip their legal status away.

All of our voices are needed now to counter the vicious hate being pushed by these extremists.

NEA President Lily Eskelsen García issued this statement in response.

For the past 8 months, the Trump Administration has used DACAmented educators and students as pawns in promoting their white supremacist agenda.  Our current immigration system doesn’t reflect our American values. 

We as educators, students, and allies, must take a stand and #DefendDACA. We cannot and will not stand silently by as aggressive and cruel efforts are underway to deport hardworking immigrants with deep ties to America.

Please stay in touch and informed at www.NEAEdJustice.org.

Thank you,

NEAEdJustice Team

Opening Day Message from NTL President

This message was sent to NTL members on Thursday via email.

Welcome to all returning and new members of our school community.

I hope that everyone was able to get some much needed and well deserved down time.
As we begin today,,we will be called upon to meet the challenges and experiences of the new school year.  A time to learn new things and above all, to make a difference one student at a time.
I ask that we all keep in our hearts and minds colleagues that maybe dealing with some difficult times as well as those no longer with us.
In these times when it seems civility has taken a backseat, please remember that the children look to us to be role models, in word, dress and actions.
In closing wishes from the NTL officers and building representatives for a fantastic school year.
God bless,
George

CEA Retirement Workshop Dates Announced

CEA RETIREMENT WORKSHOPS

UNDERSTAND AND PLAN YOUR RETIREMENT

The comprehensive workshop will cover all issues related to the State Teachers’ Retirement System, such as retirement eligibility, purchasing additional service, how Social Security may be affected, retiree health insurance, and choosing a retirement plan.

CEA Retirement Specialist Robyn Kaplan-Cho, will cover a wide range of issues related to the State Teachers’ Retirement System and will offer time for questions following the presentation.

WHERE AND WHEN?

Our workshops are held at various locations around the state beginning in Autumn and in early Spring. Registration starts at 4:00 PM and each workshop will run from 4:15 PM – 6:30 PM.

WHO CAN ATTEND?

Any fully active CEA member who wishes to begin planning for retirement is encouraged to attend our workshops. It is never too early to educate yourself! All workshops are free.

Click here to view the list of CEA Retirement workshops available during this school year and to register online. Two possibilities in the area are:

WEDNESDAY
October 11, 2017
John F. Kennedy High School Waterbury
THURSDAY
November 2, 2017
Amity High School Woodbridge

Together, we can unite against hate

the largest white nationalist rallies in recent years, many of our students are scared, anxious and confused. As parents and educators processing our own shock and disbelief, we may struggle to find the right words to offer.

But now, more than ever, we cannot shy away from talking about this terrible topic with our students. As NEA President Lily Eskelsen García writes in her post  “The People We Are Supposed to Be” this week:

“There is, perhaps, nothing harder than a conversation on race. But do it, because how we feel about race and how we react to racism informs how we feel about and react to all other forms of bias and prejudice.”
Below are links to resources for students, educators, and families to conduct meaningful conversations around race, foster healing in the wake of Charlottesville, and make sure your students feel welcome, supported, and valued. 
Together, we can foster safe spaces to move towards justice in education. Together, we can unite against hate.

 

NEA Speaks Out
This is a comprehensive collection of resources for students, educators, and families to address and engage in the national dialogue about racism, hate, and bias in the wake of recent events in Charlottesville. Topics and resources include:
  • How to deal with acts of racism and hate – before, during and after a crisis
  • White supremacy
  • Talking about race in the classroom – creating safe spaces and starting the conversation
  • Helping children cope with a traumatic event
  • Teaching tolerance and safety
Before we start any dialogue, it’s important to check in with ourselves and understand what experiences (both positive and negative) we are bringing to the discussion.
Useful advice on finding common ground in values statements, and keeping the conversation focused on results we all want to achieve rather than just assigning blame for present inequities.
10 Actions To Stop White Supremacy and Stand Up For Civil Rights – from our partners at the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.
“There is, perhaps, nothing harder than a conversation on race. But do it, because how we feel about race and how we react to racism informs how we feel about and react to all.”
Responding to Hate and Bias in Schools
This is a comprehensive collection of resources for students, educators, and families to address and engage in the national dialogue about racism, hate, and bias in the wake of recent events in Charlottesville. Topics and resources include:
  • How to deal with acts of racism and hate – before, during and after a crisis
  • White supremacy
  • Talking about race in the classroom – creating safe spaces and starting the conversation
  • Helping children cope with a traumatic event
  • Teaching tolerance and safety
Before we start any dialogue, it’s important to check in with ourselves and understand what experiences (both positive and negative) we are bringing to the discussion.
Useful advice on finding common ground in values statements, and keeping the conversation focused on results we all want to achieve rather than just assigning blame for present inequities.
10 Actions To Stop White Supremacy and Stand Up For Civil Rights – from our partners at the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.

Please stay up to date on the latest news and engagement at www.NEAEdJustice.org.

In solidarity,
The NEAEdJustice Team

CEAGo for Aug. 18, 2017

139 DISTRICTS WOULD LOSE FUNDING

Without a state budget, Gov. Malloy plans to cut $557 million in education funding in 139 districts. Read Sheila Cohen’s statement.

Read the CT Mirror and CT Post articles.

 

TREMENDOUS UNCERTAINTY FOR STUDENTS AND TEACHERS

The budget impasse is creating chaos for students and teachers as school districts prepare for a new year with tremendous uncertainty. Teachers joined a call to action urging legislators to pass a budget that invests in education.

IT’S NOT CLEAR?

Legislators are still saying they are not clear on how they will handle the state’s teacher pension system and cost shift.

Let’s make it crystal clear.

Call your legislators today and tell them:

  • No cost shift
  • No increase in teacher pension contributions
  • No cuts to ECS funding

shiny apple to Connecticut teachers who joined a call to action in Meriden last week urging legislators to pass a budget that invests in education.


rotten apple to those legislators who would rather cut education funding than raise revenue in order to balance the state budget.

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

SAVINGS ON CLASSROOM SUPPLIES

Get back-to-school savings with the Staples Teacher Rewards Program and earn 10% backon teaching and art supplies.


Planning your classroom? Stretch your dollar at A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts and Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores with your 15% teacher discount.

CEAGo News August 6, 2017

WITHOUT A BUDGET, GOVERNOR PLANS TO STRIP FUNDING FROM SCHOOLS

Without a state budget, the governor plans to strip state aid from some schools and give it to others, leaving the majority of public schools in deeper financial trouble.

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

  1. No teacher retirement cost shift
  2. No increase in teacher contributions to their state retirement fund
  3. No cuts to ECS funding

YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Thank you. Thousands of you have contacted your legislators, and they have told us your letters, emails, and calls are making a difference. We need to keep the pressure on lawmakers as they continue working on a budget. Continue reaching out to them before they vote on the budget.

EVERYTHING IS ON THE TABLE

That’s what legislative leaders are saying. Read the story.

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.

shiny apple to teachers at CEA’s Summer Leadership Conference who wrote to their state legislators telling them to vote against a teacher retirement cost shift, against increases to teachers’ retirement contributions, and against cuts to ECS. Nearly 400 postcards were delivered to legislators.

shiny apple to all the Democrats in the state legislature. Every Democrat—both in the House and in the Senate—voted to approve the $1.5 billion state employee concession package, taking a key first step toward a new state budget.

rotten apple to all the Republicans in the state legislature. Every Republican—both in the House and in the Senate—voted to reject the $1.5 billion in concessions from state employees, because it does not eliminate collective bargaining rights for workers.

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

TEACHER APPRECIATION DAY AT THE YARD GOATS

Our next Yard Goats baseball CEA Teacher Appreciation Day is coming up on Friday, August 11. Get your discounted tickets while they last at cea.org/mb.

Check out pictures from the last event.

SAVE $$ ON YOUR NEXT PURCHASE

Get bargain-basement prices on your biggest buys, from appliances to TVs, at Buyer’s Edge, Inc. Details at cea.org/mb.

Summer 2017 CEA Advisor

The Summer 2017 edition of the CEA Advisor is now available online. Don’t miss these and other stories.

State Budget: What’s Next?

Teachers spend summer months advocating against lawmakers’ budget plans that would hurt students and teacher pensions—and the fight is not over

Buyer Beware: What Is Your 403(B) Really Costing You?

New law in Connecticut helps teachers make informed retirement investment decisions