Connecticut Department of Education Invests $4 Million to Support Educators Across the State
(Hartford, CT) — The Connecticut State Department of Education today announced the launch of the Connecticut Educator Support Funds Initiative: Helping Our Teachers with Classroom Expenses, which will allocate $4 million in ARP ESSER funds to help prekindergarten through grade 12 public school educators get classroom resources through DonorsChoose, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
The collaboration between CSDE and DonorsChoose will provide qualifying Connecticut educators with up to $1,000 in funding for projects, empowering them to support student success with classroom resources.
“Recognizing their expertise, this initiative empowers teachers to submit projects that directly address the unique needs of their students,” said Governor Ned Lamont. “By investing in these projects, we ensure that qualified teachers have the resources to create impactful and personalized learning experiences, ultimately benefiting the students they passionately guide toward success."
“Connecticut is home to excellent educators, and they deserve to be celebrated,” said Commissioner of Education Charlene Russell-Tucker. “Teachers work enthusiastically on behalf of our students every single day, fostering classroom environments where students are encouraged to be curious and take risks, and where student learning, growth, and well-being is always at the forefront. This investment emphasizes how important our educators are and how deeply we value the work they do on behalf of our state’s students.”
Eligible requests will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis beginning today, February 1, 2024, at 11:30 a.m., and for as long as funding is available. To be eligible, educators must teach in a prekindergarten to grade 12 Connecticut public school (Head Start centers do not qualify for this funding opportunity) and must create a new project that aligns to the following CSDE ESSER priorities:
- Learning acceleration, academic renewal, and student enrichment
- Social, emotional, and mental health of students and school staff
“We are proud to have the best educators in the country right here in Connecticut! They devote their careers to ensuring our state’s most precious resources, our students, can learn and grow,” said Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz. “But we also know that they need support to be the best teachers they can be. I applaud the State Department of Education for pursuing this partnership with DonorsChoose so that we can help meet the unique needs of teachers across the state. I hope our teachers will take advantage of this opportunity and submit their projects.”
"We are tremendously excited to see additional resources go to Connecticut educators because we know that lack of funding is a persistent challenge in classrooms throughout the state,” said Kate Dias, president of the Connecticut Education Association (CEA). “Our teachers are incredibly creative and resourceful, and supporting the work they do to enhance their students’ learning environments is an investment that will pay dividends. I look forward to seeing the projects that result from this fund."
“Superintendents know that teachers are the foundation for learning and development of their students,” said Fran Rabinowitz, executive director at the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS). “We are so appreciative that the State Department of Education is providing teachers with the opportunity to obtain needed resources for their creative and well-thought-out projects. We all look forward to what we know will be stellar ideas and plans that will benefit so many of our students.”
“As educators, we are always grateful for investments in our students and support for our profession. Our union members will no doubt be excited for the opportunity to apply for these grants in order to further improve the learning experience in their classrooms,” said Leslie Blatteau, vice president for preK-12 educators, AFT Connecticut. “Real solutions for kids and communities across Connecticut remain our top priority. We look forward to partnering with officials in the state’s education department, the governor, and lawmakers to secure the long-term investments our students need and deserve. This includes fully funded schools and classrooms.”
"This funding by the Connecticut State Department of Education shows both a commitment to trusting teachers to know what their students uniquely need and Commissioner Russell-Tucker's emphasis on valuing the education of Connecticut state students," said Alix Guerrier, CEO of DonorsChoose. "As a former Connecticut public school student, this initiative hits close to home. Students across the state will receive supplies and experiences that will only serve to take their learning to the next level."
Eligible projects are anticipated to be funded within one week of posting.
To submit a project proposal, qualifying teachers should visit https://help.donorschoose.org/hc/en-us/articles/20505181817495
About DonorsChoose: Since DonorsChoose was founded in 2000, more than 10,000 Connecticut teachers representing school districts across the state have received over $22 million for projects that help them go above and beyond in the classroom. As a trusted platform for teachers, donors, and district administrators alike, DonorsChoose vets teacher projects, ships the funded resources directly to the classroom, and provides reporting to donors and school leaders.
For immediate release: February 1, 2024
Director of Communications
Connecticut State Department of Education
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