CEA advocates for teachers and public education. We've been a driving force in lobbying legislators
for the resources public schools need and campaigning for high standards for teachers and students.
Our proud history spans more than 150 years.
Whether it's your first time in the classroom or your sixth year, we are here with
all the resources early-career professionals need. We've got classroom management
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dollars. And we've got your back.
The Teacher Education and Mentoring Program (TEAM) is a two year induction program for
beginning teachers that includes mentorship and professional development. Beginning
teachers participating in the program are assigned a trained mentor to guide them
through developing individualized growth plans, uniquely based on their own needs as
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Retired Teachers Meet Face to Face With Legislators to Discuss Policy Issues
Rep. Matthew Lesser addresses over 200 retired educators at Retired Teachers' Lobby Day.
April 4, 2018
"I always tell my colleagues, 'Never go up against retired teachers," Representative Matthew Lesser told a crowd
of retired educators today. "You guys are smart and have a lot of time on your hands!"
In the biggest turnout ever for Retired Teachers' Lobby Day, more than 200 retired Connecticut educators
converged on the Legislative Office Building this morning to meet with Lesser and dozens of other elected
officials about issues important to retired educators and public education.
The event, a joint effort of CEA-Retired, the Association of Retired Teachers of Connecticut (ARTC), and AFT
Connecticut, brought longtime educators and legislators face to face to discuss issues important to both retired
and active teachers.
"We are here to talk about funding for healthcare and pensions," said CEA-Retired Legislative Committee Co-Chair
Myles Cohen, a middle school guidance counselor for more than 37 years. "The state passed a budget that
shortchanged retired teachers' health insurance, which could go into bankruptcy. This is a big issue, and it's
time that retired and active teachers take a more vocal stand. Visibility is important. Retired teachers are
reaching out in great numbers to their lawmakers, and we expect them to do the right thing."
CEA-Retired Vice President Bill Murray said, "My message today is that the state needs to fully fund its share
of insurance costs for retired teachers. For years, they didn't pay their share, and now the fund is in danger
of going bankrupt."
CEA-Retired Vice President Bill Murray and CEA-Retired member Joseph Jankowski wait to talk to their
"These are important issues," CEA-Retired President Gloria Brown agreed, "and we need to be heard."
Rep. Jonathan Steinberg told the retired educators that no legislators are proud of how things stand with
teachers' pensions. "I like idea of monetizing the Connecticut State Lottery," he said.
Rep. Antonio Guerrera said, "I am with you 110%. As legislators, we have dropped the ball when it comes to fully
funding your retirement. Many of my colleagues now have an opportunity to put that money back where it should
be—but you have to talk to your legislators," he urged the crowd.
"This is your building," said House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz. "Share your thoughts and ideas, we do take them to
The retired teachers did just that. Many CEA-Retired members had scheduled face-to-face meetings with their
lawmakers, either in small groups or one-on-one.
More than a dozen retired educators talked to Senator Mae Flexer about their health insurance and the need
to roll back the teacher tax.
Retired Hebron teacher Althea Carr told Rep. Robin Green, "When I retired a little over five years ago, I
thought I was all set in terms of health insurance. Now it's scary with the changes to our health insurance, we
don't know how it's going to work."
"If you're having concerns that means others have concerns," said Green, as she assured Carr she would look into
the matter further. "It's scary to pay more when you have a set budget."
Carr also questioned why teachers were targeted with an increase in their pension contribution, "I don't know of
any other group singled out like that."
More than a dozen teachers spoke with Senator Mae Flexer outside her office.
"I will try to do what I can to correct the situation with your healthcare," Flexer told the group, and said,
"Your presence here this week is timely."
Retired teachers criticized the recommendations of the Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth, and
many legislators agreed.
"It's a huge problem," Flexer said of the Commission. "If we were to follow the recommendations of a bunch of
rich white men, and one woman, we're in big trouble."
Bernie and Jane Schreiber, both retired teachers, joined retired educators Karen Dibala and Kathy James-Stebbins
in Rep. Gregg Haddad's office.
"We just found out our healthcare funding is in trouble," the Schreibers said. They also criticized the
Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth, saying, "We elected you guys to do the job, not a small
group of businessmen."
Bernie and Jane Schreiber, Karen Dibala, and Kathy James-Stebbins met with Rep. Gregg Haddad.
Haddad agreed, "Those are promises we made and need to keep, and we can't reduce benefits unless we've exhausted
all other options—which we haven't."
"The fiscal stability commission is saying we should cut taxes on the rich and take away retired teachers'
benefits," Lesser said. "I think that's outrageous. Our job is to keep our commitment to you."
"I wish you all didn't have to be here, it's embarrassing actually," said Rep. Gail Lavielle. While teacher
pensions need to be addressed, Lavielle said, "I'm even more concerned about your health care. When setting
priorities, we've got to fulfill the promises we made."
Teachers are a selfless group who choose their profession because of a love for children and teaching, not for any expectation of accolades or honors. And that makes those times teachers are recognized and have a chance to be in the spotlight all the more special.
Once again, the Connecticut Education Foundation's Board of Directors invites you to support the Children's Fund by joining Association members and CEA staff at the 25th Annual Hands Across the Green Golf Tournament on Monday, July 15.
Teachers have a lot to say on issues from their pensions to classroom safety this legislative session, which is why local associations around Connecticut are meeting with their legislators and making their voices heard.
Speaking to hundreds of students at Harding High School in Bridgeport today, Governor Ned Lamont encouraged his audience to pursue a career in teaching and be role models for the next generation of students.
Wearing #RedForEd T-shirts, several hundred Waterbury teachers showed their strength as a union, their dedication to their profession, and their value to the community they serve when they packed a March 7 Waterbury Board of Education meeting.
Community schools, minority teacher recruitment and retention, the opportunity gap, and school literacy were just some of the issues members of the legislature's Education Committee heard public input.
"Our students would only benefit from having more opportunities to learn about the culture, struggles, and contributions of African-Americans and Latinos throughout history," Waterbury teacher Sean Mosley told the legislature's Education Committee
"Teachers become teachers because we want to help kids," says Danbury building rep Lori Woodruff. "It's the same with our union—we are here to help each other. As teachers, when we're involved with the union we can do more to help one another."
Connecticut Education Foundation's (CEF) second annual Read Across America Reading Bus Tour kicked off on February 25, featuring a customized blue bus decorated with well-known Dr. Seuss characters and outfitted with bookshelves, benches, carpeting, and hundreds of new books.
At a public hearing of the legislature's Education Committee today, classroom teachers—along with CEA leaders and staff—gave powerful testimony urging lawmakers to address the crisis of violent student behavior in rural, urban, and suburban schools throughout the state.
Teachers, CEA leaders, and staff testified before the Connecticut General Assembly's Black and Puerto Rican Caucus on issues critical to teachers this legislative session. These issues included school climate, classroom safety, the persistent shortage of ethnic minority educators, and funding for public schools.
CEA supports sensible ways of assisting the state in its efforts to make up for decades of underfunding teachers' retirement, including the governor and treasurer's plan to smooth out the state's payments to the fund over a longer period of time and lower the investment earning assumption to a more realistic rate.
"We reject the idea of cutting our way to prosperity. That has never worked," said Connecticut AFL-CIO President Sal Luciano. His remarks came at a press conference yesterday where members of the labor community, including CEA, called on the state to adopt a pro-growth, investment budget.
Project Oceanology and New England Science and Sailing are partnering to offer "Sound Education: Working with NGSS and STEM in Long Island Sound". This is a FREE two-day PD event from April 5 - April 6 for teachers in grades 4-12, with overnight accommodations provided in Project Oceanology's waterfront hostel.
Legislation passed late in 2015 made many "tax extenders" semi-permanent, but there are still a few esoteric items that keep everyone on tenterhooks when, as once again this year, Congress fails to pass the tax bill by the end of the year.
Marks the inauguration of a new governor and the beginning of the 2019 session of the Connecticut General Assembly. It's likely to be a busy session with many issues for legislators to tackle over these next five months.