HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — According to the Connecticut Education Association, stress and burnout are serious concerns for the majority of teachers.

On Thursday, educators gathered at the state capitol to share their concerns with lawmakers to create potential solutions.

Teachers demanded lawmakers take another look at policies – after landmark legislation that would’ve enhanced recruitment and retention of teachers, died in the appropriations committee. Officials said the bill died after it racked up costs of more than 1 billion dollars.

“Let legislators know this is a really important issue… the crisis is already here and without taking action, now it’s only going to get worse,” said Jennifer Kaminski, a Wilton social studies teacher.

Educators say many parts of the bill need to be saved including a minimum salary, raising the kindergarten start age, removing barriers to entry into the profession and increasing pension benefits.

Teachers told News 8 the issues have led to a teacher shortage with currently 1300 openings in the state.

“Room is only equipped with 24 seats so for my classes this year that have over 24 students, I have to scramble… Makes it a real challenge to make sure you’re meeting all of your students’ needs. It’s hard for me to think about why younger teachers would be encouraged to go into this position, Kaminksi said.

A survey by the connecticut education association found 75% of teachers are planning to leave the profession earlier than planned.

“What we’ve seen over the course of this year is a steady increase in the teacher shortage which is devastating and so we need to stop that trend, we need to fix this crisis through big bold action,” said Kate Dias, President of the Connecticut Teachers Association.

The video below aired in our 6 p.m. newscast on April 27, 2023.