“Students are facing a mental health crisis—a crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic—and we need to address it head-on, with funding to provide much-needed social emotional supports,” Bridgeport Education Association President Ana Batista told the crowd at a Recovery for All rally held outside the city’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services on April 28. Recovery for All is a coalition of civic-minded organizations, faith-based groups, and unions, including CEA.
The focus of Wednesday’s rally was calling on a state budget that provides adequate funding for mental health services. Many cities, towns, and school districts lack the necessary funds to support students and community members in need—and those needs have only intensified with the pandemic.
“Our students in Bridgeport, one of the neediest school districts in the state, face a host of issues, including food insecurity, poverty, and racial disparities, and we need to acknowledge the problems and address them firsthand to make sure our students have every opportunity to succeed,” Batista said. “A recovery for all ensures that everyone who is struggling has a chance to thrive. One parent said to me that for the past three years she has had $100 a week to buy food—$100 the last three years for a family of six. We need to be able to provide our students with the best education and support system around them. For all the reasons I have provided, and more, we need a recovery for all to invest in our students, invest in public education, invest in mental health services, and invest in our beautiful Bridgeport community. Bridgeport Education Association proudly supports Recovery for All.”
Teachers are key figures in the Recovery for All movement, having witnessed firsthand the damaging effects of inequity and inequality on their students. Join your colleagues in the next, and largest, Recovery for All event to date—a May Day march on the governor’s residence taking place May 1. Teachers will meet at the Prospect Street entrance to Elizabeth Park at 11:45 a.m., where they will receive face masks and signs while supplies last. They will march across the street together and amplify the call for a fair budget that funds Connecticut’s schools and its future.