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
and professional development ideas. We've got more ways to stretch your hard-earned
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
Standing Stronger Together, Stratford Teachers, Community Send Clear Message: No Teacher Layoffs
At a town budget meeting December 18, hundreds of teachers, students, and community members made their views
known by carrying signs and wearing stickers that said, "Cuts Hurt Kids," "Fund Public Schools," and "Every
Student Matters. Every Teacher Matters."
December 19, 2017
A tremendous turnout of Stratford educators, families, and CEA leaders and staff at a special budget meeting of
the new town council last night ensured that municipal leaders heard—and sent—a clear message to
Stratford's superintendent of schools: No teacher layoffs.
While the nine-member council ultimately voted 8-1 to accept a budget that includes $700,000 in education cuts,
they strongly denounced any plans to cut teachers' jobs. At issue was the superintendent's proposal to lay off
43 teachers, including half of the district's reading specialists, in the middle of the current school year.
One of those reading specialists, 21-year veteran Melanie Saxa, who teaches at Eli Whitney School, said, "The
idea of replacing teachers midway through the school year is so detrimental to our students. We are here showing
solidarity with teachers who may lose their jobs, and with our students, who deserve better than this." Saxa
said reading specialists play a key role in student outcomes, especially at the elementary level. "We have
advanced degrees and certifications, and we provide professional development for teachers on site on a daily
basis. Reading specialists build teacher capacity, and taking those positions away means setting our students
and our teachers up for failure."
"When students lose their teachers, that impacts their classroom environment and puts their learning at risk,
all in the middle of the school year," added Stratford Education Association (SEA) Secondary Vice President
Although the special budget meeting did not allow for public comment, community members turned out in force,
wearing stickers and holding signs protesting the threat of massive teacher layoffs as well as the potential
elimination or reduction of valuable educational programs and services. Voicing their opposition were nearly 600
teachers, students, parents, and community members—a crowd that exceeded capacity in the town hall,
forcing the budget meeting to relocate to Stratford High School.
Risking students' futures
Like nearly all public school districts, Stratford faces a budget deficit created primarily by cuts in state
aid. (One of the towns hardest hit by the governor's draconian cuts, Stratford stands to lose $2.89 million and
was the last town to pass a budget.) While teachers and parents say they understand the difficult decisions
facing Stratford town leaders, they stand firmly against cuts to teaching staff, proposed furlough days that
would close the entire school district, and other actions that threaten to erode their students' education.
"We are already doing more with less," said SEA President Michael Fiorello, "and our schools can't absorb more
cuts that would result in even fewer resources, the elimination of programs for students, larger class sizes, as
well as teacher layoffs and involuntary teacher transfers."
The first of several town councilors voicing his support for the hundreds of teachers gathered, Wali Kadeem
said, "As you know, education is the foundation of all that we do. We can't lose steps now that we're making
strides." Pleading for teachers' jobs, Kadeem indicated that with the superintendent's proposed layoffs, "You're
hurting the town, you're hurting the students, you're hurting the teachers."
His remarks were met with vigorous applause.
"We must find a solution that supports Stratford students and provides the high-quality education they deserve
and their parents have come to expect," said Fiorello. "There are other options, and we are willing to talk to
the superintendent and Board of Education about these."
SEA leaders have requested a meeting with the superintendent today, one day after the budget vote, to discuss
some of these options and ask for her to call a special meeting of the Board of Education.
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.