Today is Inauguration Day in Connecticut, and after Governor Lamont and the state constitutional officers were sworn into office this afternoon, the legislature also began its work for the 2023 session.
Three CEA members were among the State Representatives sworn in today—CREC civics teacher Kevin Brown, Waterbury history teacher Ron Napoli, and Joel Barlow Spanish teacher Christopher Poulos—and they stand with their colleagues around the state ready to strengthen our public schools and the teaching profession.
CEA made important legislative gains in 2022 on everything from mandating 30-minute, duty-free lunch breaks for educators to improving school indoor air quality and prohibiting dual instruction. As a new legislative session begins, your union is prepared to build on those successes and ensure that teachers, students, and public schools are fully supported in every way.
Teachers’ priorities for 2023 center on addressing educator shortages, improving the classroom experience, ensuring equitable and secure retirement, requiring safe air quality and temperature controls, and more.
To ensure teachers’ priorities make it across the legislative finish line, CEA is organizing many opportunities for you to be in touch with your legislators. Coming up Saturday, February 4, join us at the State Capitol from 10am-12pm for a CEA Breakfast with Legislators. You’ll learn about CEA’s legislative agenda from CEA leaders and have an opportunity to advocate directly with legislators on issues that affect the teaching profession. Register today.
Subscribe to the CEA Daily to stay informed as the session progresses. Committee hearings are often scheduled less than a week in advance, and legislators need to hear directly from teachers so they know the true impact of the policies they vote on.
Most of teachers’ legislative priorities must pass through the Education Committee before being considered by the full House and Senate. This year the Education Committee has a new co-chair in Representative Jeff Currey who joins Senator Doug McCrory, a school administrator at CREC in leading that important group.
“We look forward to working with public education champions in the legislature to make this the best year yet for Connecticut students and teachers,” says CEA President Kate Dias. “Teachers have so much on their plates, but the time you take to advocate for your profession is an investment that can pay dividends in improved working and learning conditions.”
An education champion at the federal level, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Connecticut’s former commissioner of education, joined today’s inaugural and opening day ceremonies. Governor Lamont recognized the positive impact that Cardona and President Biden have had on education in Connecticut.
“We still have almost $1 billion in federal money to invest in education. Thank you, Secretary Cardona, Connecticut’s very own Miguel Cardona, who knows so well that education is the ladder to opportunity, ” Lamont remarked. “So, I urge all of our superintendents and principals and teachers, let’s implement your best ideas to help students recover from learning loss. Let’s get them loving to learn again, with apprentice and career opportunities to put them on the path to success.”