Post date: May 15, 2012 11:16:13 PM

Your commitment to students, teachers, and public education was a clear presence at the State Capitol today as Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed Connecticut's new education reform law. We were in the audience at the signing event, and we thought repeatedly how much we hope you feel the full measure of pride that you so deserve: What a difference teachers make when they advocate through political action!

In an article today in the Hartford Courant, Senate President Don Williams is quoted as saying that listening to teachers made a big difference. "It was critical to resolving the differences," he said, "and it made perfect sense because I think only teachers could have given input necessary to resolve it, because they are the ones in the classroom."

The difference between the governor’s original bill and what was enacted is remarkable. Gone is the coupling of local evaluation and state certification. Gone is the concentration of authority in the hands of the commissioner of education. And gone is the hope profiteers had to exploit local public schools.

The scope and timing of the new law ensures proper planning and implementation. Some changes will not commence until July 1, 2013, while the implementation date of others is in 2014. Stay tuned as we deliver further details to you starting with the upcoming edition of the CEA Advisor.

We hope you join us in extending our sincere thanks to a long list of legislators (see contact info below), especially Senate President Pro Tempore Don Williams, House Speaker Chris Donovan, and Education Committee Co-Chair Senator Andrea Stillman, for their leadership and tireless efforts in legislative negotiations. The Senate adopted the legislation in a 28-to-7 vote, while the House of Representatives voted unanimously for the measure. We also appreciate the job that Education Committee Co-Chair Andrew Fleischmann did managing the House floor debate.

Please use the link and phone numbers below to contact your legislators who supported positive education reform and thank them.

Senate Democrats 1-800-842-1420 Senate Republicans 1-800-842-1421

House Democrats 1-800-842-1902 House Republicans 1-800-842-1423

In closing, let us emphasize that this has been a phenomenal “Year of Education.” It has made our schools as well as our union stronger. Again, thank you.

Phil Apruzzese Mary Loftus Levine

CEA President CEA Executive Director