Increase in the number of social workers, psychologists, counselors, and other mental health professionals in our schools
Improved and expanded mental health support programs in schools
More school-based health centers
Creation of a task force to explore incentives to recruit and retain teachers, including the CEA-proposed pandemic pension credit
Minority teacher recruitment scholarships
Funding for indoor air quality (IAQ) and HVAC improvements
In-depth HVAC assessments required for all schools by 2024
Task force to review humidity and temperature standards, protocols, and best practices for addressing IAQ issues and HVAC maintenance
State education funding grant increases
Additional state funding for local special education costs
Task force to streamline teacher certification and eliminate obstacles
Higher subsidy for Medicare-ineligible retired teachers
Prioritized School District Vaccination Plans, Including School-based Clinics: Ensured school-based vaccinations clinics, where school districts worked with local healthcare and public health institutions to provide on-site or local administration of the vaccine for teachers and school staff arranged to complement and not disrupt school schedules.
Prioritized Vaccinations for Educators: Ensured that teachers were prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccination.
Paid Quarantine Leave Restored: Fought and successfully advocated for an executive order requiring local school districts to provide paid quarantine leave for public school educators and staff as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was necessary following the expiration of federal language ensuring these protections.
Protected Union Representation in Schools: Safeguarded CEA member rights and unhindered access to union representations in response to the JANUS Supreme Court decision.
Expanded Social-Emotional Requirements and TEVAL: Lobbied successfully to promote SEL through student assessments, standards, and in-service training, while also advocating for revised evaluation guidelines to provide flexibility options for including SEL goals.
Encouraged Minority Teacher Recruitment: Successfully advocated for increased funding and procedures to further encourage minority teacher recruitment and retention.
Increased Income Tax Exemption for Teacher Pensions: Advocated for and supported the increase in the pension income exemption to 50% for retired educators
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.
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.
Protected Teacher Voice: Helped to propose and pass legislation protecting teachers against retaliation for advocating positions in a PPT.
School Funding Preserved: Fought to sustain increases in the state’s primary education grant to towns (ECS).
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.
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.
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.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Professional Development: Requires Local Boards of Education to have union members as part of Local Professional Development Committees.
Teacher Education and Mentoring (TEAM): Establishes a mentoring and support system for new teachers entering the profession.
BEST Program: As of July 1, 2009 eliminates the requirement that newly certified staff participate in the Beginning Educator Support and Training (BEST) Program.
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.
CommPACT Schools: Allows a Board of Education through agreement with its teachers and administrative bargaining units, to create a CommPACT School.
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).
Re-employment of Retired Teachers: Under certain conditions, the law allows local Boards of Education to re-employ retired teachers.
Early Retirement Incentive Programs: Allows a local board and its teachers to share the cost of an Early Retirement Incentive Program.
Early Childhood Education: A new law requires certified teachers in Pre-K classes by 2015 and makes other significant improvements in Early Childhood Education.
Early Childhood Education: Education Funding to cities and towns is significantly increased.
Evaluation: Ability to grieve the violation of evaluation procedures.
Binding Arbitration Law Protected: Binding Arbitration Law protected with no changes.
Contractual Right: Teachers that are vested cannot have their pensions easily reduced by legislative action.
Indoor Air Quality: A new law makes several changes to improve and protect air quality in Connecticut schools.
Vouchers: Defeated proposed voucher bill.
Indoor Air Quality: Required local boards to adhere to indoor air quality procedures.
Teacher Shortage: Grants and incentives approved to address subject shortage areas.
Reduction of Penalty: Teacher Retirement from 6% to 3% for teachers with 30 years of service.
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).
Dismissal Hearings: Non-tenured teachers gain right to a dismissal hearing.
Charter Schools: Developed and supported charter school legislation.
Vouchers, Tenure, Arbitration: Defeated school voucher proposal. Defeated renewable tenure proposal. Defeated changes to binding arbitration.
COLA: Saved annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) for teacher pension.
Binding Arbitration Law Protected Again: Binding Arbitration law under severe attack again is maintained with no changes.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Hours as a Mandatory Bargaining Subject: Makes teacher hours and days a mandatory subject to bargaining.
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.
Protection of Teacher Evaluation: Preserves the privacy of teacher evaluations, making professional evaluations private and not subject to public disclosure.
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.
Substitute Time Creditable for Pension Purposes: Allows purchase of 40 or more substitute days in a single school district in a single school year.
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.
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.
Husband/Wife Insurance Improvement: When a husband and wife are employees of the same employer, all insurance companies are required to issue two policies.
Binding Arbitration Law: Provides for last best offer, issue by issue, binding arbitration of teacher contract disputes.
School Assaults Records Law: Requires semi-annual reports and notification to police of recorded teacher assaults by students.
Termination Impartial Hearing Law: Provides option of hearing before three-member impartial panel in teacher termination and non-renewal cases.
Teacher Assault Protection Law: Protects teachers from loss of pay, sick leave, or medical expense charges resulting from any assault in school.
Personnel File Copies Law: Teachers entitled to copies of any documents in personnel file.
Maternity Leave Rights Law: Guarantees sick leave for disability due to pregnancy.
Teacher Professional Communication Law: Teachers cannot be required to disclose information acquired in professional communication with students.
Teacher Unemployment Compensation Law: Unemployment compensation extended to teachers.