CEA Today May 15, 2020

Ed Summer is Coming Soon!

Want to learn how to organize in order to make our union stronger? Do you want to get paid to do it? Join us for Ed Summer! Ed Summer is a 6 week paid organizing internship for educators and education support professionals who want to gain knowledge and experience in building power for their local Association. This summer we want to lead the conversation about what public education looks like in Colorado. We have an obligation right now to redefine public education and to engage the public, parents, students and educators in a shared vision and plan for the schools our students deserve. The application will launch Monday May 18 (be sure to watch our Facebook page!) and the deadline to apply is May 27. Spend the summer organizing with us!

CEA and Fairtax Colorado are Presenting a Webinar for CEA Members

Join a one-hour Zoom session especially designed to help educators talk about a fair tax code to voters in their community. It’s happening Thursday, May 21st at 4pm. This is a great space to ask questions and learn more about Initiative 271. You can also learn about volunteer opportunities like carrying a petition so that we can get Initiative 271 on the ballot this fall. Did you know that….If 10% of CEA members gathered 40 signatures for one petition, we’d have 156,000 signatures. That’s more than enough to put Initiative 271 on the ballot so Colorado voters can approve raising $1 billion toward increasing pay for our teachers and education support professionals.

After attending the webinar, you can do your own video, telling your story about how the potential of losing funding because of the COVID-19 crisis could affect your classroom and students and what an additional $1 billion in funding would do for public education. Check out the Storyvine app to tell your story!

Apply for CEA Ambassador Fellowship

CEA is taking applications now for the 2020-21 Ambassador Fellowship from prospective teachers and education support professionals who wish to amplify educator voice and expand their ability to influence educational policy and professional practice. Fellows must commit to attend all face-to-face and online meetings and will earn a $2,000 stipend at the completion of their term. Complete the fellow application by Thursday, May 28th. The Fellowship also needs mentors to facilitate the program and provide content learning and coaching for up to six assigned fellows throughout the year. Mentors will earn a $2,500 stipend at the completion of their term. Complete the mentor application also by May 28th. Reach out to Cassie Harrelson with any questions.

Send an Email to the Joint Budget Committee Telling Them:  No More Cuts

Since 2008, public education funding in Colorado has been underfunded by $8 billion; $572 million this year alone. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and proven how critical K-12 Public Education is for our society and any further cuts to an already disastrously underfunded system will have extremely detrimental consequences.

Join us in sending members of the Colorado Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee an email telling them to fill the budget gap somewhere else.

Support Lisa Escarcega for State Board!

Volunteer for CEA’s Recommended State Board Candidate

Do you live in Colorado Congressional District 1? Lifelong educator Lisa Escárcega is running for the CD-1 seat on the State Board of Education. Lisa is pro-public education candidate who received CEA’s recommendation through a questionnaire and interview with a committee of CEA members. Lisa clearly came out on top as the best candidate to stand with students, educators and parents. Go to Lisa’s website to volunteer for her campaign. Ballots will go in the mail June 8 for this June 30 primary election.

Watch & Comment on Lisa’s State Board Debate on May 19th

Join Lisa in The Free Think Zone as Brother Jeff and Dr. Radhika Nath moderate a debate between Lisa and her opponent. It’s happening next week on Tuesday, May 19th at 2pm. You can also watch on the Facebook Live feed. Colorado desperately needs more champions fighting for students and educators on the State Board. Though you can’t cheer Lisa on in person, you can fill the feed comments with your support.

Scholastic Offering COVID-19 Resources

You may know Scholastic as a school vendor for hardcover books, but the company is responding to COVID-19 by offering Scholastic Learn at Home. This site has “day-to-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking and growing” sorted by grade level. You’ll also find lists of resources for both families and educators.

Colorado Teacher of the Year Nominations Now Open

Each year, the Colorado Teacher of the Year Program honors an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled K-12 classroom teacher to represent the entire profession in the state. The selected teacher will automatically become Colorado’s nominee for the National Teacher of the Year competition. Do you know an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled K-12 teacher here in Colorado? Nominate them to apply for the 2021 Colorado Teacher of the Year award!

Articles of Interest

The latest education articles you may enjoy reading and sharing…

NEA YouTubeNow This and NEA collaborate to thank our nation’s public school educators

The Denver Post Wheat Ridge’s favorite history teacher is retiring after 40 years — and she’s still learning from her students with Jeffco EA’s Stephanie Rossi

The Denver Post Money, social issues look for another path onto Colorado’s 2020 ballot as coronavirus complicates signature gathering

The Denver Post McMillin: Colorado’s schools have got to get students re-engaged

Chalkbeat Colorado Colorado’s public colleges face a budget crisis. It’s been decades in the making.

Chalkbeat ColoradoWhy Colorado school districts are serving fewer meals during COVID-19 closures

Colorado Sun Colorado is the only state without a rainy day fund. Now the coronavirus means it will pay the price.

Colorado Public Radio Colorado School Districts Look To Trim Millions, Meaning Less Pay, Possibly Fewer Schools And Fewer Schooldays

Alamosa Valley Courier Teachers surveyed say they work in good schools

Denverite – Coronavirus has created a hunger crisis in Denver

Denverite – Denver seniors reflect on a school year cut short that ended with a drive-through graduation

Pueblo Chieftain Governor expects in-person classes to resume in fall

Summit Daily Summit teachers go beyond the call of duty to help students during school shutdown with several Summit Co EA members

Summit Daily Honesty and compassion are key in guiding kids through the coronavirus

CBS4 Some DPS Students Say Virtual Learning Grading Policy ‘110% Serves Affluent Students’

Colorado Spring Business JournalSchool districts ‘turn on a dime’ to cope with COVID-19

KUNC‘We’re Really Not Trying To Make Progress’: Rural Teachers Navigate Special Needs Amid Pandemic

Chalkbeat A looming issue for schools: Teachers with health worries who can’t or won’t go back

CBS News Challenges abound for students forced to take classes remotely

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee How to Homeschool During a Pandemic

NEA Foundation COVID-19 Response Grants Available

In response to educators’ emerging needs, addressing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on teaching and learning, the NEA Foundation is offering three new grant opportunities. Grant guidelines for a COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant, including the criteria and timelines, can be found at the NEA Foundation website. Proposed projects must address educational inequity and educational opportunity gaps. There are three rounds of applications that end May 14th, May 28th and June 11th.

Tell Your Story to CEA

Are you an educator or do you know an educator making an exceptional impact on their students, parents or community? CEA wants to know what our members are doing, in this time of social distancing, that’s making a difference in their students’ lives. Go to CEA’s Tell Your Story page and CEA Communications will get in touch with you or the member to highlight their accomplishment in the media, our social media, and the CEA Journal member magazine. Spread the word and let us help your members share their wonderful stories.

Lunch Break with Amie & Kevin

This week, Amie and Kevin are reunited and it feels so good…even if it is only on Zoom! They talk about the new budget forecast, what we can do to help ensure public education doesn’t sustain further cuts, and what we can do on a national level.

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.