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
NEA Today is featuring retired educators who are still making a difference—and one of those highlighted is
Connecticut's own Jon-Paul Roden. A former CEA-Retired president, Roden was recently elected to his second term
on the NEA-Retired Executive Council.
Read about Roden's continuing contributions to the teaching profession below.
When Jon-Paul Roden started teaching in 1965, he needed to take on a second job to help supplement his income.
This side job, along with others, made him eligible for Social Security benefits when he retired in 2000. His
colleagues who didn't take outside work and had only teaching pensions were left without a Social Security
benefit, and most importantly, the Medicare Part B coverage.
Connecticut is one of 15 states where some public employees (teachers, police, nurses, and firefighters) don't
pay into Social Security— unless they worked a second job. A 34-year old federal law, however, reduces the
Social Security benefit for retired and disabled workers receiving government pensions.
"I knew about it in advance. I didn't like it, but I knew about it," says the retired Vernon Public Schools
computer science teacher. The "it" refers to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), which reduces a person's
Social Security benefit by up to 50 percent if they also receive a government pension. Throw into this mix the
Government Pension Offset (GPO), which reduces—by two-thirds—the Social Security spousal or
survivor benefits of people not covered by Social Security themselves, and "it changes a person's lifestyle
because they don't have the income they were expecting or were entitled to receive," Roden says.
"It was such a shock to people who didn't have extra employment to cover Social Security," recalls Roden. "It
affected not just me, but my colleagues, too," and then, he says, "I got busy."
He knocked on doors, wrote emails, and made phone calls to get Members of Congress to cosponsor legislation that
would fully repeal the WEP and GPO. He's had some success, too. In the last session of Congress, for the first
time that he could remember, Connecticut had every House Representative and its two U.S. Senators co-sign the
"Social Security Fairness Act of 2017," a bill that would fully repeal WEP and GPO.
Recently, Roden was one of more than a dozen NEA-Retired leaders who went to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.,
for National Retirement Security Advocacy Day, where they met and strategized with U.S. Reps. Adam Schiff,
D-Calif., and Rodney Davis, R-Ill., and U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., the lead
sponsors of the Social Security Fairness Act of 2017.
Roden encourages other retirees to thank their Members of Congress if they've signed on to legislation that
fully repeals WEP and GPO. If they haven't signed on, "I call it a 'monthly quest' to email, write, and tell
them your story about the negative effects of WEP and GPO.
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.