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
CEA President Sheila Cohen Kicks Off Summer Leadership Conference
CEA President Sheila Cohen addressed teachers attending the CEA Summer Leadership Conference Monday morning.
July 31, 2017
"It all starts with you."
That was the message CEA President Sheila Cohen gave to more than 400 teachers at the CEA Summer Leadership
Conference today. She reminded teachers how important they are to every child's success—and how critical their
voices are to the policies that shape children's education and the political process behind those policies.
In her welcoming remarks at CEA's 2017 Summer Leadership Conference, Cohen urged members to stay on top of what
is happening in Hartford and in Washington, especially this year.
"It starts with understanding that the laws and policies affecting public education and everything we do—from
our curriculum to our benefits—are created, written, debated, voted upon, and mandated by the very people we
elect. Right now, we are facing ever-increasing threats to our profession, to our right to collectively bargain,
and to our right to exist as a union," said Cohen, "all of which require our vigilance, engagement, and
collective advocacy throughout the summer and into the next year leading up to the 2018 elections.
"Teachers have one of the greatest records for getting out the vote," she added, "and believe me, legislators
know that. They realize that we are a major part of their political base. One in every 100 voters is a teacher.
Now that is power."
Over 400 teacher-leaders are attending 30 full-length workshops and mini sessions offered during the
three-day Summer Leadership Conference. (click image for larger version)
Connecticut legislators are now meeting behind closed doors, without public oversight, crafting a budget that
could potentially shake up the teacher pension system and Education Cost Sharing funding in ways that increase
pressure on school budgets, cities and towns, teachers, students, and families. Cohen encouraged teacher leaders
to keep the pressure on lawmakers to reject plans to shift teacher pension costs onto cities and towns, increase
teacher contributions to their retirement plans, or cut precious education funding.
At a time when many teachers are feeling the fatigue that comes with relentless self-advocacy and advocacy for
public education, she reminded them of the union's 40-year struggle for better wages and working conditions—a
fight that was won because of the involvement of individual teachers in 55 Connecticut communities.
"Talk to them," she said, referring to educators who were teaching during those years. "Ask them what it was
like to be a teacher in the 1960s and 1970s. They will tell you about the low pay, the disrespect, the lack of
breaks and free periods, the restrictions they faced. We can't go back. As we approach the 40th anniversary of
the Bridgeport teacher strike, we must remember what our colleagues did for us, and we must have the courage to
do the same."
Organizing, leading, and advocating for the profession are among 30 full-length workshops and mini sessions
offered throughout the three-day Summer Leadership Conference, held July 31 to August 2 at the Mohegan Sun
Convention Center. The conference includes professional development in dozens of key areas, including
restorative practices, constructive coaching, technology in the classroom, culturally competent schools, and
more. The added emphasis on organizing arose from needs expressed by CEA members over the past year.
"This conference is empowering," said Wallingford educator Betty Butkus.
"It's a great way to get engaged yourself and learn how to keep engaging teachers in your district," said
Portland Education Association membership chair Jerome Manning.
Vernon business teacher David Jedidian, who said member engagement in his district is strong, nonetheless
acknowledged, "It's never enough. That's why I'm here—to learn more strategies. There's always more you can do."
Watch a video excerpt of CEA President Sheila Cohen's remarks below.
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.