LEGISLATIVE ACHIEVEMENTS

2019 Teacher Pension Benefits Protected:  Advocated and supported the restructuring of unfunded liability debt in the teacher retirement fund.  The result was a reduction in the state’s annual contribution to a more sustainable level, avoiding a huge balloon payment. This helped to defeat alternative proposals to limit future pension benefits and otherwise diminish the Teachers Retirement System.
2019 Teacher Pension Funding Protected: Prevented a proposal to shift pension costs to cities and towns that would have reduced the amount of funds available for salaries, benefits, and classroom resources.
2019 Protected Teacher Voice:  Helped to propose and pass legislation protecting teachers against retaliation for advocating positions in a PPT.
2018 School Funding Preserved:  Fought to sustain increases in the state’s primary education grant to towns (ECS).
2018 Retiree Health Funding Restored:  Successfully fought to restore state funding for retiree health coverage which had been severely cut in previous years and threatened the quality of future coverage.
2017 Teacher Pension Funding Protected:  Prevented a significant shift in pension costs to towns that would have left less funding for salaries, benefits, and resources for teaching.
2016 Student Data Privacy:  Lobbied successfully for legislation that protects the privacy of both students and teachers.  The legislation requires parental notification when any student data is provided to any outside entity, and prohibits the use of data for any other purpose other then what a contract with any outside entity contains.
2015 Charter Schools:  Tightens the process for a new charter school to open. Any company seeking to open a new charter school must first apply to the State Board of Education.  If the Board approves the application, they must forward the application to the General Assembly. The General Assembly, as the final arbiter, is charged with determining whether or not the school will open, and if it will receive state money. Gives teachers, parents and taxpayers’ input into decisions about expanding the number of charter schools in our state through the General Assembly.

Requires transparency for expenditures by Charter School Management Organizations (CMOs), and the salaries paid to their executives. Prior to this, although state dollars were being used the CMOs were allowed to keep all information secret from public scrutiny.  (PA 15-289)

2015 SBAC: Protects teachers by requiring a committee be established to examine the efficacy of the SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) test. The committee must explore the use of alternative tests that would effectively measure growth and development of students.  The test results would be used to drive teaching, not to falsely evaluate and penalize teachers.

Eliminates the SBAC test for all 11th grade students, replaces it with the SAT.  Most students already take the SAT. Many don’t because of obstacles that include the expense of the test. Requires the State to fund the cost of the SAT for all students. (PA 15-238)

2015 Health Insurance: Allow teachers to be entered into the state employee health insurance plan. In most cases, the state employee plan provides the same or better benefits for less money. (PA 15-93)
2015 Teacher representation on Professional Development and Evaluation Committees (PDEC): Clarifies and strengthens the 2013 requirement that each PEDAC have a teacher, chosen by the local union, serve on the Committees. (PA 15-215 Section 11)
2014 Partial Tax Exemption for Retired Teachers’ Pension:  The association supported and lobbied in favor of Governor Malloy’s partial tax exemption for retired teachers’ pension. The bill allows retired teachers, when calculating Connecticut (CT) adjusted gross income for state income tax purposes, to deduct 10% of TRS income for 2015 tax year, 25% for 2016 tax year, and 50% for 2017 and subsequent  tax years.
2014 Expand Pre-K Opportunities: The association supported and lobbied for two preschool initiatives that will expand pre-k opportunities for thousands of CT children, preparing them for lifelong learning success.  One plan creates 1.020 new preschool spots for next year and the other created the Smart Start plan that is expected to provide 4,000 to 5,000 pre-kindergarten seats for low-income families.  Both initiatives will help CT close its achievement gap. 
2013 2012 Education Reform Act Changes: In collaboration with other teacher advocates, the association successfully lobbied to modify the 2012 “Education Reform Act” to require that evaluation systems must be developed in collaboration with teachers and to require that teachers who are appointed to evaluation committees must be chosen by their union and to require reading teachers to complete a survey for the purpose of professional development.  Those aspects of the prior law related to the survey being used for summative teacher evaluation and at a cost to teachers were eliminated.
2013 School Safety: Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, boards of education must establish a school security and safety committee at each school, and teachers are to be members.
2013 Retired Teacher’s Health Insurance: The association lobbied successfully to reverse the initial budget proposal to eliminate the state’s share of funding for the biennial budget.  The final budget provided that the state contribute 25% in lieu of the required 33%.
2012 Year of Education Reform: The association lobbied to ensure that the initially draconian reform proposals made by the governor and contained in SB 24 did not go forward. The association supported SB 458 that the general assembly adopted. This bill provided for an additional 1,000 school readiness seats; evaluation plans that, compared to those originally in SB 24, were more consistent, effective and fair; an expedited fair dismissal process; provisions for sharing best practices; establishment of a limited number of commissioner network schools; expansion of family resource and school based health centers; and increased targeted state funding to the lowest performing schools.
2012 Surviving Spouse Retirement Benefit: The association proposed and successfully lobbied for the passage of HB5443 that allows the surviving spouse of a teacher who failed to name their spouse as the sole designated beneficiary the same benefit options available to those surviving spouses who were named sole designated beneficiary.
2011 Teacher Bargaining Rights: While many other state associations saw their collective bargaining rights significantly diminished, Connecticut’s teachers bargaining rights remained unchanged. An amendment to subvert local bargaining by imposing statewide rules on layoff procedures that would have invited arbitrary dismissals was defeated.
2010 Public Act No. 10-111 An Act Concerning Education Reform in Connecticut: Collaborated to shape many reform initiatives that included expanding high school graduation requirements, creating school governing councils, and establishing a statewide committee to develop teacher evaluation guidelines that provide for a fair and more responsive process.
2009 Professional Development: Requires Local Boards of Education to have union members as part of Local Professional Development Committees.
2009 Teacher Education and Mentoring (TEAM): Establishes a mentoring and support system for new teachers entering the profession.
2008 BEST Program: As of July 1, 2009 eliminates the requirement that newly certified staff participate in the Beginning Educator Support and Training (BEST) Program.
2008 Retired Teachers Health Insurance Subsidy: Increases, from $110 to $220 per person, the monthly state health insurance premium subsidy for retired teachers that are 65 years of age and do not quality for Medicare.
2007 CommPACT Schools: Allows a Board of Education through agreement with its teachers and administrative bargaining units, to create a CommPACT School.
2007 Teacher Retirement System Funding: Authorized the state general obligation (GO) bonds to fund $2 billion of the unfunded liability of the State Teachers Retirement System (TRS).
2006 Re-employment of Retired Teachers: Under certain conditions, the law allows local Boards of Education to re-employ retired teachers.
2006 Early Retirement Incentive Programs: Allows a local board and its teachers to share the cost of an Early Retirement Incentive Program.
2005 Early Childhood Education: A new law requires certified teachers in Pre-K classes by 2015 and makes other significant improvements in Early Childhood Education.
2005 Early Childhood Education: Education Funding to cities and towns is significantly increased.
2004 Evaluation: Ability to grieve the violation of evaluation procedures.
2004 Binding Arbitration Law Protected: Binding Arbitration Law protected with no changes.
2003 Contractual Right: Teachers that are vested cannot have their pensions easily reduced by legislative action.
2003 Indoor Air Quality: A new law makes several changes to improve and protect air quality in Connecticut schools.
2001 Vouchers: Defeated proposed voucher bill.
2001 Indoor Air Quality: Required local boards to adhere to indoor air quality procedures.
2000 Teacher Shortage: Grants and incentives approved to address subject shortage areas.
1999 Reduction of Penalty: Re: Teacher Retirement from 6% to 3% for teachers with 30 years of service.
1998 Teacher Retirement: Increased survivorship benefits from $600 to $1500 per month (family), from $150 to $300 per month (surviving spouse), $200 to $300 per month (child’s benefit).
1997 Dismissal Hearings: Non-tenured teachers gain right to a dismissal hearing.
1996 Charter Schools: Developed and supported charter school legislation.
1995 Vouchers, Tenure, Arbitration: Defeated school voucher proposal. Defeated renewable tenure proposal. Defeated changes to binding arbitration.
1994 Teacher Certification: Protected teacher certification.
1993 Sheff Decision: School desegregation.
1992 COLA: Saved annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) for teacher pension.
1991 Binding Arbitration Law Protected Again: Binding Arbitration law under severe attack again is maintained with no changes.
1990 Binding Arbitration Law Protected: Binding arbitration law which faced repeal in this legislative session is maintained with only moderate changes mostly of a technical nature.
1989 Health Insurance for Retired Teachers: State pays complete cost of health insurance for retired teachers and their spouses in the State Teachers’ Retirement Board insurance plan (those retired teachers eligible for Medicare Part A) and pays part of the cost for retired teachers and their spouses who get their health insurance through their last employing Board of Education.
1989 Early Retirement Incentive Plan for Teachers (Ohio Plan): Allows Boards of Education to buy up to five years in the retirement system for some of their veteran teachers so that they can retire earlier.
1989 Employer Pick-Up of Teacher Retirement Contributions: Make teachers six percent retirement contribution pre-tax dollars, thus leaving teachers to pay income tax on only 94 percent of their salary (effective July 1, 1991).
1987 Hours as a Mandatory Bargaining Subject: Makes teacher hours and days a mandatory subject to bargaining.
1986 Education Enhancement Law: Provides state funding for districts to increase their minimum teachers’ salaries to a state recommended minimum, phased in through fiscal year 1988-89 and based on a statewide target of $20,000 ($21,500 for towns in high cost of living areas).
  • Requires the state to reimburse towns (whose teacher contracts reflect the state recommended salary) up to specified maximum amounts for renegotiated teacher salary increases during the next three years.
  • Requires the state to award the specific maximum salary aid grants to towns, without their reopening salary negotiations, if they already have relatively high teachers’ salaries or have taken significant steps to improve them.
  • Provides general education grants for the next three years to districts which receive teacher salary aid grants or meet other conditions.
1984 Protection of Teacher Evaluation: Preserves the privacy of teacher evaluations, making professional evaluations private and not subject to public disclosure.
1983 Improvements in Teacher Tenure Status: Makes tenure effective immediately upon 30 months of continuous employment of a teacher and allows laid off and recalled teachers five years to resume their tenure status.
1982 Substitute Time Creditable for Pension Purposes: Allows purchase of 40 or more substitute days in a single school district in a single school year.
1981 Political Freedom for Teachers: Allows teachers and all other board of education employees to serve on any governmental body of any town, except the employing board of education.
1980 New Fair Dismissal Law (Teacher Tenure): Establishes rights of tenured teacher to bump non-tenured teacher, allows teacher bargaining unit to negotiations salary and recall provision, clarifies 3-year probation period and mandates local board vote prior to termination notification.
1980 Husband/Wife Insurance Improvement: When a husband and wife are employees of the same employer, all insurance companies are required to issue two policies.
1979 Binding Arbitration Law: Provides for last best offer, issue by issue, binding arbitration of teacher contract disputes.
1979 School Assaults Records Law: Requires semi-annual reports and notification to police of recorded teacher assaults by students.
1975 Termination Impartial Hearing Law: Provides option of hearing before three-member impartial panel in teacher termination and non-renewal cases.
1973 Teacher Assault Protection Law: Protects teachers from loss of pay, sick leave, or medical expense charges resulting from any assault in school.
1973 Personnel File Copies Law: Teachers entitled to copies of any documents in personnel file.
1973 Maternity Leave Rights Law: Guarantees sick leave for disability due to pregnancy.
1971 Teacher Professional Communication Law: Teachers cannot be required to disclose information acquired in professional communication with students.
1971 Teacher Unemployment Compensation Law: Unemployment compensation extended to teachers.
1969 150-Day Minimum Sick Leave Law: Mandates minimum sick leave accumulation of 150 sick days.
1969 Retirement Cost-of-Living Adjustments Law: Provides cost-of-living adjustments in retirement benefits.
1967 Teachers Personnel Files Law: Guaranteed access by teachers to their own files.
1967 Duty-Free Lunch Period Law: Guaranteed duty-free time daily.
1967 Two Percent Retirement Formula Law: Two percent allowance for every year of teaching.
1967 Twenty-five Year Permissive Retirement Law: Allows pro-rated retirement after 25 years.
1967 Vested Rights Retirement Law: Provides vested rights after 10 years of service.
1967 Best Three Years Retirement Law: Retirement calculated on the three highest years of salary earnings.
1965 Teacher Negotiation Law: Requires all boards of education to negotiate contracts with elected teacher representatives.
1965 Tenure Court Appeal Law: Tenure teachers’ right to appeal termination to courts.
1961 Non-Tenure/Non-Renewal Reasons Law: Written reasons required for non-renewal of non-tenure teachers’ contracts.
1947 Marital Discrimination Law: No discrimination because of marital status.
1945 Equal Pay Law: No discrimination because of sex.
1945 Legal Liability Protection Law: Save teachers harmless in damage suits.