Middletown Public Schools

Educators to Lawmakers: "Our Students Can't Wait"

Legislators today convened in Hartford to restore funds cut in last fall's compromise budget package for a program serving low-income senior citizens and people with disabilities. Their fix, however, relies on "savings" from decreased state contributions to the Teachers Retirement System (TRS); an occupational tax imposed on Connecticut educators. At the same time, the budget's failure to fully fund public schools, coupled with additional cuts proposed by the governor to mitigate ongoing shortfalls, threaten to shortchange students' futures.
 

Resisting Discriminatory Policies Targeting Teachers

Union members' advocacy over the past six weeks succeeded in blocking several proposed budgetary policies threatening harm to students in schools across the state. Still, the compromise package passed last week by lawmakers contains two provisions unfairly singling out Connecticut's hard-working educators. To reverse the damage in 2018, teachers will need to double-down on both member and political engagement during what will be a critical year to be "all in."
 

Renewing the Fight for Fairness at Back to School Season

As thousands of children in communities across Connecticut return to school this week, state lawmakers and the governor remain gridlocked over how to appropriately fund their education. Teachers earlier this month joined parents, superintendents, school business officers and elected board members to warn that students would be hurt by the ongoing budget impasse. There, union leaders urged a "fair share" approach to prevent local officials from cutting vital programs, increasing class sizes, or laying off teachers and classroom support staff.
 

Achieving More "Fair and Equitable Evaluation Practices"

State school officials last week took a major step toward empowering teachers to be more effective in the classroom by eliminating the use of mastery examination scores in educator evaluations. The move will benefit students by prioritizing instructional emphasis on deep issue knowledge and analytical skills over test preparation. The April 5 vote by the State Board of Education's (SBOE) followed years of advocacy by a diverse coalition of stakeholders, including AFT Connecticut-affiliated union members.
 

Spotlight: Educators Committed to Attendance "Every Day"

Educators, classroom support staff and school social workers know firsthand that for students, a day lost to absenteeism is a day lost to learning. Their concerns were reinforced by a landmark brief released earlier this month on national chronic absence data that reveals the true scope of the problem. As the month set aside to raise awareness of the issue wraps up, we're spotlighting union members devoted to helping students and families understand how achievement is connected to attendance.
 
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