Connecticut Education Association
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The Connecticut Education Association (CEA) is a grassroots organization championing for teachers and public schools. It has been a leading voice for teacher professionalism and school improvement since it was formed in 1848 when 80 teachers met in Meriden.
CEA is headquartered in Hartford with a membership of 43,000, including preschool through grade 12 teachers in Connecticut public schools as well as retired teachers and college students preparing to become teachers. It lobbies for legislation at the state and federal levels, represents the rights of teachers, and works with state policymakers to continue to elevate the teaching profession and promote public education.
Structure and operation
CEA has more than 160 local affiliates and is governed by a board of directors of approximately 35 elected members. The board meets regularly throughout the year to set goals, approve policy, and implement specific measures adopted by CEA’s highest-policy making body, the Representative Assembly (RA).
The RA meets annually each May to set policy, including approving a budget, adopting resolutions, voting on new business items, and making any amendments to the CEA constitution and bylaws.
CEA’s four executive offices, president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer, are elected at the RA. Elected to three-year terms, they can serve a maximum of two terms. The president and vice president are full-time officers.
CEA’s staff is headed by an executive director who oversees staff in Hartford and regional offices. Staff members include lawyers, lobbyists, trainers, field staff, policy experts, communications professionals, and more.
CEA is a state affiliate of the National Education Association and has made teachers a powerful force in the legislative process. CEA members take an active role at the state legislature and in local communities across the state, advocating for quality education and investments in public schools. CEA’s legislative successes include some of the following achievements:
- Campaigned for and sponsored a bill that ultimately led to the creation of the State Teachers’ Retirement System in 1917.
- Lobbied for legislation to require boards of education to provide written notices for teacher contract non-renewals, and adoption of an equal pay law.
- Made Connecticut one of the first states in the nation to require boards of education to collectively bargain with teachers.
- Enacted a fair dismissal law.
- Helped prevent loss of school days to teacher strikes with passage of a binding arbitration law.
- Initiated a change to teacher retirement law providing teachers with a contractual right to their pension benefits.
- Championed a bill to implement indoor air quality programs in public schools.
- Amended the State Teacher Evaluation Guidelines to prohibit school districts from using a single, isolated, standardized test score to assess educators.
CEA continues to press legislators for increased state aid for local schools and to fund the teacher pension fund adequately while lobbying against proposals that would drain money from public schools or weaken the rights of teachers.
- "CEA: The Advocate for Teachers and Public Education". Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- "Finality, Fairness, Stability: The Connecticut Binding Arbitration Story." Abacus Associates. February 2004.
- "Legislative Updates." Connecticut Foundation for Environmentally Safe Schools. Accessed 18 June 2015.
- Thomas, Jacqueline Rabe. "State panel: Teachers must be evaluated on multiple standardized tests." CT Mirror, 24 April 2014.