CEA Today March 6, 2020

Welcome to the first week of March! You know what that means? Daylight savings is this weekend (DON’T FORGET TO SET YOUR CLOCKS AHEAD) and CEA’s March 19th Day of Action less than two weeks away. CEA is closely monitoring information from the Center for Disease Control and the Colorado Department of Health about the COVID-19 virus and will provide updates if we should have to alter or even cancel the event. Continue to monitor all of CEA’s social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for all the latest information.

Now let’s get to what’s going on in our union:

Attend an Education Summit

Advocates 4 Public Education Policy invite you to the Statewide Education Summit 2020 on Saturday, March 14th from 8:30am-3:30pm at the Adams County Government Center (4430 Adams County Parkway, Brighton). Keynote speakers are Anthony Cody (The Battle Over Education: What Are We Fighting For?) and Keron Blair (Reclaiming Our Schools). Registration is $35 includes catered lunch & complimentary tote bag.

Fair Tax Colorado is Here

You may remember us asking for your input a few months back for Vision 2020, a coalition of organizations (including CEA) dedicated to Colorado’s tax system fair for all. Well, all of your input has helped shape Fair Tax Colorado and will begin to circulate petitions and begin signature gathering for Initiative #271. Over and over, network members described the need for better funding in their communities, a more equitable tax structure, and realistic solution to the fiscal challenges Colorado’s current tax code has created. Initiative #271 is the fair tax Colorado needs. It reverses our upside-down tax code, one that causes most middle and working class taxpayers to pay more of their income in state and local taxes than the wealthiest households. The fair tax provides a tax cut for 95% of Colorado families. Families earning less than $250,000 of taxable income will pay a lower rate than they currently pay, reducing their state income tax rate from 4.63% down to 4.58%. Tax rates will only be increased on income over $250,000 per year, and income at $1 million will be taxed at a top rate of 8.9%, resulting in an effective tax rate of 6.77%. This fair tax raises $2 billion and uses 50% of the new money to recruit, retain, and pay teachers and student support staff in our schools. The rest will be used to address the effects of an increasing population and changing economy. For more information go the Fair Tax Colorado website, sign up for updates, and/or sign up to volunteer!

TLCC Closes with 51.6% Participation

We did it! CEA members, leaders, and staff across the state helped Colorado achieve better than a statewide 50% completion rate for the Teaching and Learning Conditions in Colorado (TLCC) survey. We thank all 36,900 educators who stepped up to make sure educator voice matters in improving schools for our students. CEA continued our tradition to honor school staffs that reached at least 50% TLCC participation with cash awards. We held four weekly drawings for two $150 prizes for staff to spend on themselves – #TreatYoSelf. Our winning members this year serve at: Carlson Elementary in Idaho Springs; Centennial School in San Luis Valley; Glenwood Springs Elementary; Mapleton Expeditionary School of the Arts; Montezuma-Cortez High; Riverside School in Garfield; Sanborn Elementary in St. Vrain; and Yampa Valley High in Steamboat Springs.

Secure PERA Update

From Secure PERA:  As we enter the third month of the legislative session, bills impacting PERA remain limited. However, we expect introduction of new bills in the coming weeks, including a bill to adjust the employer contribution rate under the DPS retirement division as allowable under the law. More details and analysis to come! Track the legislation Secure PERA is watching here.

Find Your Next Teaching Job

Love teaching but maybe ready for a change of scenery? Colorado Mesa University’s Teacher Job Fair provides an opportunity for teachers and teacher candidates to learn about employment opportunities with school districts in the next school year. It’s happening Thursday, March 26th from 8am-5pm. At the fair, candidates can meet formally with school districts, learn about their hiring needs, and interview for open positions. Register now; there is a $20 fee, but it’s free for CMU alumni. Contact Suzanne Bergen (sbergen@coloradomesa.edu) with any questions.

Steer Your Students to Create Safe Driving Messages

Impact Teen Drivers and California Casualty are once again challenging students to develop artistic ideas to combat reckless and distracted driving. Your budding artist, musician, writer or filmmaker (ages 14-22) could have the creative solution to net a piece of $15,000 in educational grants available in the spring Create Real Impact Contest. Teachers and education support professionals are urged to motivate students to enter. Three schools with the most entries will receive a $1,000 educational grant. The deadline for submissions is Thursday, March 19th at 7pm.

Win a Jeep Compass from California Casualty

Multi-tasking is a way of life; however, doing so behind the wheel is the worst time to try to balance it all. Make the promise to stop distracted driving and you could drive home safely in a new 2020 Jeep Compass, compliments of California Casualty. A CEA member has won this car contest before; enter today and try to become our second lucky winner!

Join the Rockies on May 9th for Teacher Appreciation Night at Coors Field

Let’s hear it for our educators! The Colorado Rockies would like to thank our educators for all their hard work by inviting you out for a fun night at Coors Field! All teachers, support staff, and administrators are included for this appreciation game where the Rockies will be taking on the Cincinnati Reds.

Lunch Break with Amie & Kevin

On this week’s Lunch Break, Amie and Kevin talk about the TLCC and the March on the Capitol on March 19th (pssst…RSVP here: bit.ly/CEAMarchOnCapitol)

As always, if you have content ideas, or if you have a colleague who goes above and beyond and needs a shout out or if you have ideas on how we can improve the CEA Today, please drop us a line at ceatoday@coloradoea.org.