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
Waterbury Teachers Association President and CEA Treasurer Kevin Egan talks with new Waterbury teachers this morning at an orientation at Waterbury Career Academy.
August 22, 2018
CEA UniServ Rep Jim Tessitore told the new teachers that, before working for CEA, he had worked with a variety of other unions.
Jessenia Figueroa will be teaching in the district's Early Childhood Education Program. "I'm looking forward to meeting all of the new little faces," she says. (Click image for larger version)
"Your executive board is one of the best I've ever worked with," he said. "This group here works really hard and advocates for you and your interests."
Egan and Tessitore talked with new educators about the many benefits of union membership and introduced the WTA executive board so that new teachers would know who to turn to when an issue or question arises.
WTA Executive Board member and Carrington Elementary School library media specialist Sara Lestage remembers first being introduced to the WTA at a similar orientation when she was new to the Waterbury district.
Kaitlin Helaire will be a special education teacher at State Street School and Claudia Davis will be teaching 5th grade at Sprague Elementary. "I'm looking forward to getting to know my students and their interests and needs, getting to know the community, and helping each child achieve their dreams," says Davis. (Click image for larger version)
"It was great to know before we started the school year about the benefits of being a WTA and CEA member," she says. "It was also nice to be able to put faces to names for our WTA officers, to know who to go to when there's an issue."
Egan and Tessitore explained that all of the benefits included in the Waterbury teachers' contract have been negotiated by their fellow teachers in the WTA.
"From your lunch break, to a reimbursement for furthering your education, to stipends for extracurricular positions, the WTA has fought for these benefits through thousands of hours of work," Tessitore said.
Egan said that a member of the WTA executive board just recently left Waterbury to teach in South Carolina. "I'm receiving texts from him now describing working 12-hour days. 'You have no idea how it is without a union,' he says."
Alyssa Kabusk will be working as a school counselor at West Side Middle School this year. She says she's looking forward to helping her students be the best they can be. (Click image for larger version)
At over 1,600 members, the WTA is one of the largest CEA local associations.
'We have over 100 building reps located around the city in all of the schools," Egan said. "Please seek them out. They're an important resource for you."
"We're here for you for all of those little things that pop up during the year," Tessitore added.
Egan, who was recently elected CEA treasurer, told teachers that it is their engagement and advocacy that makes their union so strong.
WTA 2nd Vice President Ryan Sullivan and Executive Board members George Flaherty, Kasey Sullivan, and Francene Ouellette handed out T-shirts to the new WTA members (Click image for larger version)
Referring to Waterbury teacher and 2016 National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes who recently won her primary in the Fifth Congressional District and Ron Napoli, a social studies teacher at Wilby High School running for the state's 73rd General Assembly District, Egan said, "We are sending people to Congress. We have another member who is running to be a state representative. We are getting involved and making a difference."
There are those, including current U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who argue that spending more on public education doesn't lead to better outcomes. School finance expert and Rutgers Professor Bruce Baker begs to differ, and he has research to back his position up.
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.