When coronavirus struck Connecticut, teachers and students had their worlds turned upside down almost overnight. Schools were closed, and homes became de facto classrooms. Through all of the uncertainty, Connecticut teachers did what they always do: they rose to the occasion to take care of their students, keeping them engaged and learning.
Now, another crisis looms on the horizon. Cities and towns across the state are discussing drastic cuts to education budgets that will eliminate critical resources for students and limit teachers’ ability to help them succeed.
For our state to recover, our schools must remain high priorities. That is the core message of a new CEA television ad featuring Connecticut teachers and students engaging in virtual learning.
“Throughout this health crisis, our teachers have been working harder than ever to keep their students learning in this uncertain world,” says CEA President Jeff Leake. “As we try to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, our students will require more resources, not fewer. Proposed budget cuts will jeopardize their education, their emotional well-being, and their future. The television ad is a reminder to cities and towns to turn their efforts from making cuts to fighting for resources to educate students safely when they return to the classroom.”
The ad shows three of Connecticut’s public school educators engaged in what tens of thousands of their colleagues have been doing since mid-March: teaching virtually. Featured are 2020 Connecticut Teacher of the Year Meghan Hatch-Geary, and Paul Geary, both English teachers at Woodland Regional High School in Beacon Falls, and Tracey Lafayette, a third-grade teacher at O’Brien STEM Academy in East Hartford.
As news headlines broadcast plans for devastating budget cuts in cities and towns throughout the state, the ad asks, “Cutting education, undercutting our children…at a time like this? No way.”
Leake urges local board of education and town council members to listen to the public outcry against education cuts. “Do what’s right for our students, our teachers, and our schools. Supporting our public schools and dedicated teachers is an investment in our children’s future and in our own future as a state.”
The TV ad ends with this message: “Our children, our teachers, and our schools can’t afford another crisis. Support our students, support our teachers, support our public schools.”
The ad begins airing on Connecticut’s major network television stations and online news sites today.