- AFT Connecticut, 35 Marshall Rd, Rocky Hill, CT 06067.
Tomorrow is your chance to meet up with local legislators and engage them in discussion on education matters and pending legislation such as Classroom Safety or Consolidation.
Having a good turnout will not only enlighten legislators about what it is like in the trenches, but make them more favorable inclined to vote on issues of importance.
Questions? Contact Teri Merisotis at 860 257 9782 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, March 16
9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Testa’s Banquet Facility
26 S Center Street, Southington
A few brief items in relation to this bill:
The walkouts and funding fights in states such as West Virginia, Arizona, Colorado and Oklahoma, and cities like Chicago and Los Angeles, have been inspirational. What connects all these fights is the failure of politicians to fund our students’ future, which is why educators, parents, students and their communities are standing up with a clear message: We’re not going to accept underfunding and scarcity.
The AFT’s Fund Our Future campaign begins March 4, with events continuing throughout the month. Educators and our allies across the nation will be taking action to demand adequate and sustainable investment in our public schools, colleges and universities, so students—particularly our most vulnerable and at-risk children—have the resources they need to succeed.
The Great Recession decimated school funding, and 25 states still spend less on K-12 public education than before the recession. Similarly, in higher education, 41 states still spend less. Years of disinvestment have hurt our students and faculty and led to overcrowded classrooms; schools without nurses, librarians, guidance counselors and supports to ensure children’s well-being; deteriorating school buildings with outdated teaching materials and technology; and unhealthy, unsafe environments. The testing fixation, coupled with austerity, has meant the loss of instruction in the arts, music and other programs; and disinvestment has led to huge increases in tuition and student debt as well as fewer course offerings and full-time tenured faculty.
And for the states that have made strides—we need to support that trend. In those states, we’ll focus on sustaining that commitment to fund our future.
Our campaign is not one size fits all— it’s tailored to different funding needs and issues. But the goal of Fund Our Future is the same everywhere: ensuring that the public schools and colleges that embrace all of our children have the funding they need to provide the opportunities students deserve.
This means that in addition to the state and local campaigns, on the national level we’re calling on Congress to:
Teachers want what students need. Indeed, we are grateful that many bills have already been introduced to meet these needs. We’re fighting to prioritize these needs because every student deserves a fully funded public education.
Bristol Teachers, after reading this update, please take a moment to add your own written testimony in support of HB 7110 by clicking here. Bristol residents of the 77th district can also contact Cara Pavalock-Damato, who is a member of the Education Committee. Ask her to support the bill and pass it out of committee.
On Friday, the Education Committee of the Connecticut Legislature held nine hours of testimony on all education bills that have been proposed, including HB 7110, the bill that addresses Classroom Safety.
BFT President David Hayes, who served on the Classroom Safety Working Group that was convened by the SDE in the summer and fall of 2018 to develop the language in the bill, was present and gave testimony that can be viewed using this link:
(If it freezes, hit pause, then play. Or use this link http://ct-n.com/ctnplayer.asp?odID=16054 and go to 5:07:35 into the stream to go directly to Hayes’ testimony followed by most testimony focused on HB 7110)
The verbal testimony was a summation of the written testimony, which can be read in its entirety here David’s Testimony for HB 7110
The complete list of all those who submitted testimony so far can be found here. Several Bristol teachers are among the participants!
An article summarizing Friday’s verbal testimony can be viewed here.
You can follow progress on the bill here.
Below is an email from CEA about HB 7110, AN ACT CONCERNING ENHANCED CLASSROOM SAFETY AND SCHOOL CLIMATE, that attempts to addresses the discipline problem prevalent in so many schools across our state.
BFT President David Hayes was the AFT CT’s representative on the committee that helped shape this bill as it was developed by a coalition of education groups, some of whom are fiercely opposed to the final language, which includes:
Bristol teachers are implored to share their stories of dangerous and disruptive classroom discipline situations by submitting testimony via the link at the bottom.
Here is the email:
Your voice can make a critical difference in making our classrooms safe places to learn and teach.
Classroom safety and disruptive behavior from students are major problems in our schools but legislators aren’t aware of what’s happening in your classrooms. They need to hear your stories.
The legislature’s Education Committee has just announced that it is holding a public hearing on Friday, February 22, on HB 7110 which would address this incredibly important issue. Full info on the bill is here.
With a new legislature, we need to educate our lawmakers on the issue again this year. We’re pushing back stronger than ever and asking you to stand up for safe schools. Even if you were one of the many who submitted your story last year, we need you to do it again.
CEA and AFT CT are making it easy for you to submit written testimony to the legislature—no need to take time off and travel to the Capitol. Please take a few minutes to write a paragraph or two (or more if you have time) and in your own words and experience, discuss why classroom safety and disruptive behavior is a major problem that must be addressed.
On Wednesday, February 20, the BOE’s Student Achievement Committee will meet in Room 36 of Central Office to discuss Restorative Practices, a discipline approach roundly rebuked by much of the staff at schools that have utilized it.
The BFT will weigh in on this issue to BOE members prior to that meeting. Staff members who wish to relay their own opinions or experiences can do so by emailing Commissioner Jen Dube, the Chair of the BOE Student Achievement Committee. Her email is JenniferDube@ci.bristol.ct.us
Click here for an outstanding essay from a teacher who very succinctly explains why more students should be suspended, and how that will lead to less suspensions.
In related news. a bill concerning classroom safety and school climate that is supported by CEA and AFT CT will be introduced soon in the Connecticut Legislature. The bill will be posted here when it becomes available.