Connecticut seeks to fund teacher project proposals with $4 million investment

This article was originally published in CT mirror.

Kate Dias, president of the state’s largest teachers union, the Connecticut Education Association, recalled this week a time in her teaching career when she bought Barbie dolls to make a lesson more engaging.

One of her colleagues, she said, used Play-Doh to help her create computational models.

For both projects, the money to purchase these supplies came out of the teachers’ pockets, Dias said.

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According to an investigation by Association of American Educatorsteachers spend on average over $650 a year’s worth of supplies, which sometimes include toys for innovative ideas, but also purchases of everyday items for the classroom like notebooks and markers.

This week, state Department of Education officials announced a new $4 million investment aimed at giving thousands of educators the opportunity to propose projects and have the state pay for supplies.

“Connecticut is home to excellent educators and they deserve to be celebrated,” Charlene Russell Tucker, state education commissioner, said during a news conference Thursday at Highcrest Elementary School in Wethersfield. “Teachers work enthusiastically every day on behalf of our students, fostering classroom environments where students are encouraged to be curious and take risks, and where student learning, growth, and well-being are always in the foreground. This investment underscores the importance of our educators and the deep value we place on the work they do on behalf of our state’s students.

The Connecticut Educator Support Fund Initiative launched this week in partnership with DonorsChoosea website that allows teachers to fund classroom supplies and resources.

Eligible projects must prioritize “the acceleration of learning, academic renewal and student enrichment” or “the social, emotional and mental health of students and school staff”…

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