Statement from CEA President Sheila Cohen on Governor's Teacher Retirement Budget Proposal
February 3, 2017
Governor Malloy's budget proposal recognizes the value of Connecticut teachers and the state's financial obligation to them, but the plan to create a partnership for teacher pension contributions with cities and towns must be viewed with extreme caution. The plan could have serious consequences for our students, our families, and our communities.
As a result of this new partnership, cities and towns could cut education budgets, resulting in cuts to classes and other educational programs, teacher layoffs, and larger class sizes for our students. This plan would have unintended, long-term consequences on our next generation of students. A similar plan was explored more than 20 years ago, and legislators rejected it then. The examination and scrutiny of the plan that was done then must be done now.
We applaud the governor for recognizing the need to continue to fulfill his promise to educators by addressing the state's obligation to the retired teachers' healthcare fund and by reducing the state income tax on teacher pensions.
Active and retired teachers have always contributed the lion's share to the healthcare fund, and their contributions have never wavered. We are pleased that the governor has put forth a plan that recognizes the need for Connecticut to keep its promise to our dedicated educators. Our teachers, who have committed their lives to teaching students—the future of our state—deserve nothing less.
The Connecticut Education Association represents 43,000 teachers in Connecticut.