Statement from CEA President Jeff Leake on Public Health Committee Bill Addressing Racism in Connecticut
We applaud Senate leaders and members of the Public Health Committee for taking the lead on eliminating institutional racism in our state. They have taken a stand in SB 1, by recognizing that racism is a public health crisis in Connecticut and are focusing their efforts on eliminating discrimination and inequities throughout our state.
Combating racism, erasing inequities, and advancing racial justice are critical to every aspect of our society, including education, housing, medical care, law enforcement, and more. Teachers see this firsthand.
We know that Black and brown students are more likely than their white peers to be suspended, arrested, and disciplined in school. We also know that the pandemic has further exacerbated deep economic disparities in our state, including a lack of funding for critical services that disproportionately impacts people of color. We must all support efforts to achieve racial equity through proactive and preventative measures, especially in our schools, so that every child has access to equitable, high-quality education.
We support SB 1 An Act Equalizing Comprehensive Access to Mental, Behavioral, and Physical Health Care in Response to the Pandemic as an important step toward achieving equity and social justice in our state, and we strongly urge its passage.