Survey reveals issues most important to CT teachers

Survey reveals challenges facing CT teachers
Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 5:33 PM EST
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - A new survey is shedding light on concerns throughout public schools in Connecticut.

The Connecticut Education Association (CEA), which represents teachers in our state, addressed the new findings of that study Tuesday.

Some of the key issues in that study touch on teacher shortages and teacher salaries.

The CEA has a wide range of proposals which they hope can be addressed by lawmakers this legislative session.

The CEA is Connecticut’s largest teachers’ union.

They surveyed 800 Connecticut voters last month with the help of a third party.

The study found 83-percent support increasing teacher salaries and 89-percent of voters said they support ensuring teachers have uninterrupted planning time.

The survey also finds strong support from Connecticut voters for a wide range of proposals, including more school funding and additional resources to address student mental health needs.

Kate Dias, the president of the Connecticut Education Association, said Connecticut has dire staff shortages, adding that the current crisis is nearing catastrophic levels and there are not enough educators to teach students.

“What you see now is a lot more transitioning and resigning in the middle of the school year. And that’s really an indicator of people responding to the stress, the overwhelming responsibility and other options that may be available to them,” said Dias.

“We have countless certifications, hours and hours in the classroom and in training, and we deserve to have pay that’s comparable to our other professions that are like us,” said Joslyn Delancey, CEA Vice President.

Education advocates spoke out at the State Capitol Tuesday and addressed the issues teachers are facing throughout Connecticut’s schools.

“Every single district continues to suffer. Continues to have shortages,” said Dias.

The CEA released results from a new survey.

The survey found 90-percent of voters think teachers should be paid more or comparable to professions with similar education and training requirements.

“Our communities recognize that teachers are undervalued. And whether we like it or not, value is how we pay them,” said Dias.

The study found 75-percent of voters favor the state providing more funding to cities and towns to support teacher salaries.

With the legislative session now underway, the CEA has been in communication with the education committee discussing proposals.

“The state should make sure that all kids no matter where they live, the state is supporting them and their educational pursuits and not leaving it to Hartford or some small town that can’t afford it,” said Rep. Matthew Ritter, House Speaker.

The survey found most voters support limits on non-teaching duties, and paperwork. They also support college tuition credit for students who pursue and complete teaching degrees.

“The need to attract new teachers and educators is more critical than ever. We do that by investing. We do that by making education a top priority, if not, the number one priority for 2023,” said Don Williams, Executive Director of CEA.

Throughout the legislative session, talks will continue between the CEA and lawmakers on the education committee.

They hope to have bipartisan support on several of their proposals.

New CEA survey shows issues most important to CT teachers