Goal: CEA will continue to advocate for legislation that protects teachers and students from repeated disruptions of
learning and potential physical harm, and allows all to feel safe and secure while at school.
Ensuring the most positive and healthy school learning environment requires the state to do much more to address
the needs of students who have had adverse childhood experiences. CEA calls for comprehensive legislation to
ensure every child has access to the key programs and services each needs. Legislation should include:
Kindergarten Start Age: Connecticut law sets the youngest kindergarten start age of any of the other 49
states. We support legislation requiring children attending kindergarten to be at least 5 years old by Sept. 1,
unless a parent or guardian of a child under such age attests to their child’s developmental readiness.
- Universal Preschool: Require SDE and OEC to develop plan for universal preschool and report its finding and recommendations for implementation to the legislature.
Acceptable Counselor, Social Worker, and School Psychologist Staff Ratios: ensure that the ratios of
social workers, school psychologists, and school counselors meet national standards. For social workers and
school counselors, the student to teacher standard is 250:1; for school psychologists, it’s 500-700:1.
- Reducing Testing: By prohibiting standardized tests from Pre-Kindergarten through second grade and
limiting the amount of time spent preparing for and taking state-required testing.
- Class Size Reduction in Alliance Districts: Provide additional ECS funds to Alliance Districts that maintain
class sizes at or below the state average for similar classrooms.
- Special Education Caseload: Propose a comprehensive study be conducted by the Special Education
Advisory Council (with input from parents, educators, board members, and advocacy groups) that results in
caseload limits for school districts. Limits should take into consideration intensities of various services, the
amount of time students’ IEP indicate as classroom inclusionary time, and other key factors.
- Social Emotional Learning and Revising the Common Core for Grades K-2: Require districts to
incorporate social and emotional learning standards throughout the curriculum and include SEL in the state’s
accountability framework under ESSA. The state should also create model curricular units to save teachers
time and districts money.
- Addressing Trauma for Students Who Exhibit Need: Require schools to have plans for helping students
whose behavior indicates deeper needs. Plans must:
- Identify a suitable location where student who has been temporarily removed from class for dangerous
behavior so that educational needs can be met.
- Implement interventions to address underlying trauma, such as therapeutic support; restorative
practices with training; trauma-informed instruction; and strategies to improve the school climate, etc.
- Ensure teacher input into the supports and interventions necessary to support affected students and
protect teachers who advocate for their students from workplace retaliation – an all too familiar form of
- Flexibility in Teachers Evaluation Law and Guidelines: Permit more flexibility in teacher evaluation plans
to allow for social-emotional learning indicators.
- Community School Strategies: Establish pilot program to develop comprehensive community schools that
involve parents, educators, and the community in developing solutions to a school’s biggest challenges.