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
Shelton Teachers Raise School Safety Concerns; Security Lapses Tied to Funding
Shelton Education Association President Deb Keller (center) prepares to go into the school safety forum with
fellow SEA members Laurie Goncalves, Michele Piccolo, Kathy Maffucci, and James Allan.
March 4, 2018
In one of the city's largest public forums—with a crowd of over 200—more than 60 Shelton teachers
shared their concerns and ideas regarding school safety with colleagues, administrators, and community members
this week. The forum was organized in the wake of the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas School in
Parkland, Florida, which claimed the lives of 17 students, teachers, and coaches.
For Shelton Education Association President Deb Keller the issue of school safety hits close to home.
"For me, personally, Sandy Hook was up the road. The shooting happened on my birthday. Parkland was the last
straw. I'm a teacher. We are vigilant, and we are trained, with shelter-in-place drills, evacuation drills, and
ALICE active shooter training for teachers, and I know all my colleagues would put them themselves in harm's way
to save their students, but I worry. I worry about anything happening to one of my students."
Keller addresses the community at the forum. "I want to walk out of here with the feeling that we
are all in this together," she said.
In light of President Trump's recent recommendation to arm teachers—an idea that has sparked outrage but
also gained traction in some parts of the country—Keller and her colleagues also worry about their
colleagues who are new to teaching.
"Early-career teachers are not going to want to stay in this profession. Not if they are expected to take on
even more—preparing lessons, assessments, enrichment, emotional support, and now being trained to fire
guns? They can change careers. They can walk away."
Shelton teacher Kathy Maffucci agreed, adding, "I am not a police officer. I'm a teacher doing what I'm trained
Maffucci lamented a lack of funding for support services and guidance counselors, with a ratio 400 students to
every guidance counselor.
"Support services are the first to be cut," she said. "Outreach programs are cut."
Cuts hurt kids
CEA Executive Director Donald Williams and CEA President Sheila Cohen listen to teacher concerns at a
breakout session during Shelton's forum on school safety.
Students also participated in the forum, and Shelton High School junior Caitlyn Kelley announced a planned
walkout on March 14 to demonstrate solidarity with teachers and support for safe schools. The walkout has
received district approval.
"This is not meant to be politicized," Kelley said. "This is a show of how much we love our teachers and how we
stand together. It provides a safe way to honor the students of Parkland and let their voices be heard. It
should have ended with Sandy Hook, but it didn't.
At a breakout session during the forum, teachers expressed their apprehension and frustration about lapses in
security measures and protocol, ranging from school doors and windows to warnings about credible threats, safety
during recess, and more.
"There was a lot of conversation and concern about protecting against gun violence," said CEA Executive Director
Donald Williams, who came out to the forum with CEA President Sheila Cohen to hear what teachers had to say.
"It's so sad that our country's failure to regulate weapons of war requires that we attempt to turn our schools
Funding, too, was consistently cited as an issue. For nearly every idea that administrators and law enforcement
officers agreed was advisable or necessary, lack of funding stood in the way of implementation.
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.