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
Teachers Tell Legislators: Under Proposed Budget, We Will Be Worse Off Today Than 10 Years Ago
East Hartford teachers Kim Knapp, Teddy Tauris, and Jill McNulty joined Manchester Education Association
President Kate Dias and a dozen other educators in opposing plans that would increase costs on teachers,
students, and the communities where they live, work, and learn.
July 13, 2017
In a packed room at the Raymond Public Library in East Hartford, more than 15 teachers from East Hartford and
neighboring Manchester told their state legislators to pass a budget without creating further hardships for
teachers, families, schools, and overburdened municipalities.
The teachers, many of whom wore bright yellow stickers identifying themselves as educators, were among nearly
100 attendees at a budget workshop for citizens, led by Representatives Jason Rojas and Jeff Curry and Senator
Henry Genga. The workshop was meant to be an exercise in the kind of debate and negotiation that elected
officials are currently engaged in at the Capitol—although many in the room said they would prefer
instead to hear the legislators' plans for balancing the budget.
East Hartford teacher Jill McNulty, who comes from a two-teacher household with school-age and college-age
children, urged her lawmakers to steer clear of any budget proposals that would increase teachers' contributions
to their pensions or shift the cost of those pensions onto cities and towns.
East Hartford Education Association President Annie Irvine (center) and fellow teachers Amy Piorkowski
(left) and Paola Maina discuss the potential impact that some lawmakers' budget proposals would have on
teachers and schools.
"We are adamantly opposed to shifting teacher retirement costs onto cities and towns," she said. "That's
breaking the agreement that the state had made with us." Many in the room raised their hands and voices in
McNulty pointed out that she and her spouse have already gone to a higher-deductible healthcare plan, with
greater out-of-pocket expenses, and that some of the state budget proposals on the table would amount to a
$7,000 decrease in her own household budget.
"The proposed pension increase and cost shift are devastating," she said. "Combined with other recent sacrifices
East Hartford teachers have made, this would effectively erase any raises I received in the last ten years. If
this passes, I will actually be worse off today—with a decade more teaching experience—than I was
ten years ago."
"They don't know what we give back year in and year out," East Hartford teacher Teddy Tauris agreed.
East Hartford Education Association President Annie Irvine pointed out that in her district, teachers in recent
years have accepted modest raises or none at all.
At a forum similar to the one in East Hartford, Wallingford teacher Anne Varrone-Lederle (at right)
explained to Rep. Liz Linehan that the proposed increase in teacher pension contributions would cut an
average of $1,500 from teachers' salaries. Linehan replied, "It is really a wage cut." Also pictured are
Southington Education Association President Dan Hart and his wife and fellow Southington teacher Susan Hart.
"The insensitivity to that fact—and the fact that we have always contributed to our pensions and have
always been paying in—shows that this isn't about education at all," said Manchester Education
Association President Kate Dias.
East Hartford teacher Susan Budde remarked, "The state needs to have a good cadre of teachers—teachers
who are given the pay, benefits, and respect that educators deserve. What happens to our schools when we don't
pay teachers well? When we keep expecting them to shoulder more and more costs?"
"Do we want to be the state that can't attract teachers?" Dias asked. Enrollment in Connecticut's teacher
preparation programs is already down more than 30%, and schools are facing shortages in key subject areas.
Legislators are expected to convene at the State Capitol for a vote on the state budget on Tuesday, July 18.
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.