#RedforEd Day of Action urges legislators to pass legislation critical to students, teachers, and public education
With one week left before the end of the legislative session, educators across the state are wearing #RedforEd today and filling legislators’ social media feeds, inboxes, and voicemail with hundreds of firsthand accounts of what’s really happening in their schools and classrooms. The activities are part of CEA’s #RedforEd Day of Action campaign urging lawmakers to stand with students and teachers and pass critical legislation that ensures student success, including providing more certified mental health professionals, improving indoor air quality, prohibiting dual teaching, and taking steps to retain and recruit more teachers to the profession.
In an open letter in today’s eight daily Hearst Connecticut newspapers, CEA President Kate Dias and Vice President Joslyn DeLancey called on Connecticut legislators, parents, and voters to participate in today’s Day of Action, wearing #RedforEd and contacting lawmakers in a show of support for children, teachers, and public education.
The letter reads, in part, “We are at a pivotal moment for passing much-needed legislation. The time is now to stand with Connecticut’s public schools and the students and educators at the heart of those schools and make investments that underscore your support.” Several important measures would do just that, and we all need to encourage legislators to take action to:
- Pass HB 423 to improve indoor air quality and establish temperature and humidity standards in our schools. Clean air is crucial in preventing chronic illnesses and respiratory issues in both students and teachers. Connecticut law requires temperature and humidity standards in pet stores but not for schools, and that must change to make our schools healthy places to learn and work.
- Pass the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Task Force proposed in SB 427. As more educators leave the profession, we need to provide incentives, such as special COVID service credit that recognizes teachers’ sacrifices during the pandemic, to better attract and retain teachers to help address the ongoing shortages.
- Prohibit dual teaching. Requiring teaching of remote and in-person students at the same time by a single educator is inequitable and detrimental to students on both sides of the screen.
- Pass SB 1 and HB 5001. Address the mental health crisis facing our students by increasing the number of certified mental health professionals in Connecticut’s schools.
“We know there’s not much time to get these important priorities across the finish line,” Dias says, “and that’s why it’s so important for legislators to see their constituents wearing #RedforEd and hearing directly from them about the need to pass these bills.”
After spending a full day in school wearing #RedforEd, educators, including Southington Education Association President and Kennedy Middle School teacher Jason Ghidini, will be traveling to the State Capitol for face-to-face meetings with their legislators.
Ghidini notes, “I lived through dual instruction for two years and saw firsthand how ineffective it was for all learners. By taking part in today’s #RedforEd Day of Action, I am ensuring the voices of the experts in the field of education are heard in the creation of policy.”