CEA Executive Director Donald Williams: Your Advocacy Made a Difference
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CEA Executive Director Donald Williams: Your Advocacy Made a Difference

Hello, I’m Don Williams, CEA’s executive
director. Now that the legislative session is officially over, I want to
thank you very much for contacting your state representative and your state
senator, for making your voice heard, because it made a difference. In the
state legislative session we achieved some significant victories: the passage
of a two-year budget that puts an additional hundred and sixteen million
dollars in our public schools across the state of Connecticut. In addition, we
strengthened the teacher pension system. The state refinanced its debt to the
teacher retirement fund in a way that will preserve the integrity of teacher
benefits and the pension system for decades to come. In addition, this was
accomplished by defeating a proposal that would have shifted the state’s
responsibility, some of that responsibility, to the teacher retirement
fund to the towns. Now we know what would happen there, towns would most likely either raise property taxes or cut the school budget
or both. That would be harmful to education in many communities throughout the state. That proposal was defeated because of your advocacy and CEA staff
at the Capitol. There were other steps forward. We passed legislation that will
promote the hiring of minority teachers in classrooms across the state of
Connecticut. Now, there’s more to do. We want to come back next year and talk
more about classroom safety, decreasing teacher assaults in the classroom, and
protecting teachers and students from harmful environmental issues, such as
mold and bad air quality. But I want to thank you, because we had a very
important and very progressive session that helps teachers, helps our schools,
and it was because of your involvement and advocacy. So have a great summer,
and we’ll all work together again next year. Thank you.

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