Connecticut Education Association StatementSeptember 27, 2017
Governor Malloy Wrong on Teacher Tax
Shocks teachers with misstatements
Governor Malloy shocked teachers in Connecticut today when he refused to rule out supporting a Teacher Tax. He also misspoke when he said he had not heard from teachers regarding the Teacher Tax. In fact, he has already received more than 2,000 emails from Connecticut Education Association members who said they were against the Teacher Tax and urged him to veto the Republican budget.
"Let me be absolutely clear, Governor Malloy—Connecticut teachers are against the teacher tax," said CEA President Sheila Cohen. "The thousands of teachers who already contacted your office have said that it's wrong to balance the budget on the backs of teachers. For you to say, 'I wouldn't take it off the table,' indicates that you are considering leading with a tax on teachers in order to balance the budget. You are unfortunately disrespecting the dedicated teachers who spend their lives educating, supporting, and nurturing our children."
Cohen also said that CEA members strongly oppose Governor Malloy's proposed shift of teacher retirement responsibility from the state to the towns. The proposed reduction of state responsibility will unfairly increase local property taxes and/or result in further cuts to school budgets.
"Connecticut teachers are in favor of a fair budget that works for all of us and invests in public education. In order for our children to have the opportunities they deserve and to fulfill their potential, we must make their education a top priority," Cohen said. Cohen also noted that in June, CEA publicly opposed a similar teacher tax when it was briefly proposed by House Democrats.
Here are a few excerpts from emails sent to the Governor by Connecticut teachers:
Dear Governor Malloy,
I want to thank you for pledging to veto the Republican budget and urge you to work with legislators from both parties to pass a tough but fair budget that does not harm teachers and students in the state. The 2% increase in teacher contributions to the retirement system would result in a $1,500 tax, on average, per teacher. ECS cuts hurt students and programs and will cost jobs. Please INVEST in public education!
This tax that is proposed will just further beat us down, given that many districts have put us on pay and step freezes for 7 years now. We have one of the most influential positions in society, educating and encouraging our youth. Please support us. Our own livelihood and the livelihoods of our children are at stake.
Dear Governor Malloy,
Please consider vetoing the proposed Republican Tax. As a public school teacher, I can speak from experience when I say that teachers spend a lot of their own money to fund classroom endeavors. Over the past 5 years, I have spent well over $1,500 each year, whether it be toward supplies to make projects with the students; stocking my classroom library with the varying interests, reading levels, and genres; or purchasing supplemental resources.
My town has already felt the wrath of the impending budget cuts. Programs are being minimized, we will now have to pay for any professional development out of our own pockets, positions have not been filled that we are in dire need of. Please keep in consideration the thousands of teachers who work tirelessly, who spend not only time and money on their students, but also much worry and emotion.
I am a member of CEA's Board of Directors...The 2% increase in teacher contributions to the retirement system would result in a $1,500 tax on average per teacher. ECS cuts hurt students and programs and will cost jobs. Please INVEST in public education! Just my suggestion and again thank you in advance for vetoing the budget passed by the House and Senate Friday night.
C'mon Governor Malloy!
According to the report Education at a Glance 2017, U.S. teachers, on average, earn less than 60% of the salaries of similarly-educated workers. They have among the lowest relative earnings across all OECD countries with data. As an educator and a Connecticut resident, I urge you to VETO the Republican budget that passed the legislature. It imposes an unprecedented tax on teachers of approximately $1,500 per teacher—every year—that will NOT go into the teacher retirement fund to support teacher retirement. This is an UNFAIR tax that goes into the state's general fund and must not become law.
Please veto the Republican budget. I have been a teacher for 39 years, and I am shocked at how the lack of a reasonable budget has affected the running of my school district. Now, I understand that this Republican budget wants teachers to pay a $1,500 tax. Are we balancing the budget on the backs of teachers who only make $45,000 a year? Please support education for the children of CT and be fair to teachers who invest their lives in teaching these children. They deserve a stable retirement and already contribute a lot of money into the system.
"Teachers hope that instead of casting aspersions, the Governor will focus on working for a fair budget that will make Connecticut a leader and a place that attracts young families as a great place to live, work, and educate their children," said Cohen.
The Connecticut Education Association represents 43,000 teachers in Connecticut.