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
After a Fire, Plainfield Memorial School Community Shows What's Possible
When Jessica Phaneuf found that the classroom she'd be using with her fourth graders lacked cabinet doors, she quickly improvised a solution.
August 31, 2018
When officials quickly determined that it would take until December to repair the Memorial School building, students, parents, and teachers were initially worried that their school community might be broken up. Then Killingly Schools Superintendent Steven Rioux offered Plainfield the use of the old Killingly High School building.
Killingly last used the building as a high school in 2010. The front of the building is now shared between the Killingly School District's offices and EastCONN's Northeast Regional Program, however the back of the school has stood vacant—used only for storage.
Banners decorate the old high school's hallways, welcoming students to their temporary home.
When Plainfield School officials and Plainfield Education Association leaders toured the old Killingly High, furniture was stacked in piles in the classrooms, dirt covered the floor, and many light fixtures didn't work.
However, students and parents who visited the school yesterday to meet their teachers and see their new temporary classrooms were greeted by an entirely different view.
As soon as they were given the go ahead, maintenance and custodial staff immediately started working 12 hour days, every day of the week, moving furniture, cleaning every nook and cranny, painting all of the walls, replacing ceiling tiles and light fixtures, and so much more.
"I'm so very grateful for all of the work the custodial staff has put in," says fourth grade teacher Lynne Dumaine.
Once the space had been cleaned and repaired, teachers went to work, enduring the heat and humidity to do everything in their power to make the old high school classrooms into welcoming environments for fourth and fifth graders.
"All of the teachers in this school have done an amazing job," says Board of Education Chair Christi Haskell. "Knowing what the rooms looked like before, and now seeing them fully set up—it's clear that many, many hours went into these classrooms."
Plainfield Central Middle School science teacher Jessica Oâ€™Brien visited Sherin Gilkensonâ€™s fifth grade classroom where her son Charles will spend the next several months.
"When you walk into these classrooms you should absolutely be impressed," Plainfield Superintendent Kenneth DiPietro told students and parents at a community-wide assembly that opened the family meet-and-greet.
"It's so amazing what the teachers here have been able to pull together on such a short notice," says Jessica O'Brien, a Plainfield seventh grade science teacher visiting her son Charles' fifth grade class. "It's really touching to see how the community has come together."
CEA President Jeff Leake visited Plainfield Education Association members as they prepared to welcome families, thanking them for all they have done on behalf of their students.
CEA President Jeff Leake greets fourth grade teacher and building rep Laurie Brunsdon.
"You all have put in so much extra effort. It's really outstanding what you've been able to do," Leake told fourth grade teacher Jen Howe.
"This has really been a community-wide effort," says fifth grade teacher Jeanne Sherman.
While teachers are mourning the loss of cherished classroom items and libraries they developed over decades, they are very thankful for donations that have poured in from across the state, and even neighboring Rhode Island.
"All of the bookcases in my room were donated," says Sherman. "A former student brought in her own box sets of books and gave them to me for my students. It was very heart warming."
While there has not been time to install phones in classrooms yet, and the school is currently lacking an internet connection and computers, the school community is relieved to be together again, beginning another school year.
"We're finding out that all of those old cliche sayings hold true," says Phaneuf. "'Don't underestimate what a small group of people can do,', â€˜It takes a village'—they're all true. And when the kids are here, the rest of it fades away."
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.