Bristol Federation of Teachers

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Non-Renewal and the Budget — April 6, 2017

Non-Renewal and the Budget

Last night the BOE voted to notify all non-tenured staff they would be non-renewed for the next school year, pending the final BOE budget.

Bristol Press article here.

The education budget will be the subject of another Board of Finance meeting on Monday, April 10 starting at 6:00 PM at City Hall. Teachers are strongly encouraged to attend, and to speak with residents in Bristol (friends, neighbors, family) to explain the direction of education in Bristol and ask them to support the BOE budget. Support can be made through editorials and social media, as well as contacting elected officials.

Emails and phone calls to Board of Finance and City Council members is also possible using the contact info below:


Jake Carrier –

Ken Cockayne –
860.584.6250 OR 860.256.9504

Derek Czenczelewski  –

Mike Fiorini  –

Mike LaMothe  –

John Smith –

Cheryl Thibeault  –

Ron Burns –

Orlando Calfe –


Calvin Brown –

Anthony D’Amato –

Mary Fortier  –

Jodi Zils Gagne –

David Mills –

David Preleski –

Layoffs Averted – For Now — March 29, 2017

Layoffs Averted – For Now

Hartford Courant article

NBC 30 Video

Tonight the BOE voted 5-4 to postpone issuing layoff notices until at least the April 5 regularly scheduled BOE meeting. This will allow the BOE and Board of Finance to meet on Monday, April 3 and discuss the budget.

Pending the outcome of that April 3 meeting, which will be held at City Hall starting at 6:00 PM, the BOE revisit the issue.

All teachers are strongly encouraged to attend that Board of Finance meeting.

BOE Meeting – Layoffs Possible — March 8, 2017

BOE Meeting – Layoffs Possible

A special BOE meeting was held Wednesday night, with a “go forward” budget approved that would fully fund district programs and staffing. This calls for an almost 7% increase in spending. This budget must now be presented to and approved by the combined City Council and Board of Finance; this is an approval that is highly unlikely, since the BOE budget rejects funding cuts proposed by the Board of Finance.

Earlier in the evening, the BOE initially considered a budget which demonstrated the impact of funding cuts. The reductions directly affecting BFT members of that budget, should it be enacted, can be seen here:

-1 K5 Assistant Principal

-8 high school teachers

-4 elementary teachers

-2 high school guidance counselors

-1 middle school guidance counselor

-12 gifted coaches

-10 kindergarten para-professionals

-16 Department Heads

-3 middle school world language teachers

-2 high school world language teachers

Although these cuts have been rejected by the BOE for now, there will be push back from the Board of Finance as the entire city budget is developed and continues through the approval process. BFT members are encouraged to call and write to Board of Finance members, and attend BoF meetings. More details will follow tomorrow.

Supporting Bristol’s Education Budget — February 28, 2016

Supporting Bristol’s Education Budget

Although the proposed 2016-17 School Budget is still a few days away from being unveiled, it it obvious to those who teach in Bristol that the district has been underfunded and understaffed for most of the decade. Below is the contact info for Board of Finance and City Council members who will vote on the eventual budget. Please take a moment to share with them your view that past budget cuts have had on students, and encourage them to support the budget put forward by the Superintendent and Board of Education this Tuesday.

Board of Finance

Jake Carrier

Ken Cockayne;

Derek Czenczelewski

Mike Fiorini

Mike LaMothe

John Smith;

Cheryl Thibeault

Ron Burns

Orlando Calfe

City Council

Calvin Brown

Anthony D’Amato

Mary Fortier

Jodi Zils Gagne

David Mills

David Preleski;

Garcia Labor Complaint Dismissed — July 24, 2014

Garcia Labor Complaint Dismissed

Today the Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations dismissed a complaint against the union filed by High School Vice President Edwin Garcia. The complaint was filed more than a year ago, with several labor board hearings held to hear testimony and consider the complaint.

Here is the complaint submitted by Mr. Garcia in June 2013.

Amended Garcia Labor Complaint

Upon the conclusion of the hearings in the winter of 2014, each side submitted a brief in lieu of a final oral argument.

Brief for BFT

Brief for Garcia

Here is the actual Labor Board decision handed down on July 23, 2014.

Labor Decision 4751


BFT Contract Survey — June 5, 2014

BFT Contract Survey

Below is the link for the survey that will be used to advise the BFT when negotiations for the next contract begin in August. The next contract will be effective July 1, 2015 to June 30 2018. All BFT members are asked to complete the survey before June 20, 2014.

What issues are important to you? Rank them in order of importance and make additional comments. The survey is designed to take 5 to 10 minutes.

Here is the link:

AFT Lesson Database — March 26, 2014

AFT Lesson Database

AFT’s Share My Lesson” is similar to “Teacher’s Pay Teacher’s” except free. The AFT is promoting this lesson material database in the hopes of getting 500,000 participants. Currently there are 300,000.

We’re helping make things easier for you with a Teacher Care Package. Just like the ones you received in college, enclosed in this Care Package are supplies to support you through the end of the school year.

In each package, you’ll find direct links to the Common Core State Standards for both math and ELA by grade. Additionally, we’ve collected our favorite classroom resources and categorized them by grade as well. This Care Package makes it simple and easy to find what you need most.

Let us care for you as you continue to care for our students.


Kindergarten Care Package

First Grade Care Package

Second Grade Care Package

Third Grade Care Package

Fourth Grade Care Package

Fifth Grade Care Package

Sixth Grade Care Package

Seventh Grade Care Package

Eighth Grade Care Package

Ninth and Tenth Grade ELA Care Package

Eleventh and Twelfth Grade ELA Care Package

High School Science Care Package

High School Math Care Package

High School Social Studies Care Package

Meet Local Legislators at the Bristol Labor Council Breakfast — March 3, 2014
For-Profit Education and the Origin of Common Core and SBAC — February 28, 2014

For-Profit Education and the Origin of Common Core and SBAC

‘Cashing in on Kids’ site exposes for-profit education

Cashing on on Kids photoThe AFT and In the Public Interest have launched a new website, “Cashing in on Kids“—a one-stop shop for the facts about for-profit education in America. The site profiles five for-profit charter school operators: K12 Inc., Imagine Schools, White Hat Management, Academica and Charter Schools USA. It identifies several issues that need to be addressed in charter school policy, including public control, equity, transparency and accountability. “For-profit charter schools that operate in the dark without basic public transparency and without strong public control too often put their bottom line ahead of the public interest and high-quality public education,” says ITPI Executive Director Donald Cohen. Adds AFT President Randi Weingarten: “We believe much more oversight is needed to protect students and taxpayers, but the information on this website is a means for others to see the facts and arrive at their own conclusions.”

Full article from Truthout

Teacher Evaluation Changes Imminent; Common Core Under Fire — January 29, 2014

Teacher Evaluation Changes Imminent; Common Core Under Fire

Melodie Peters, president of AFT Connecticut, made the following remarks on the adoption today by the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) of recommendations by Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, Senate President Donald Williams, and House Speaker Brendan Sharkey to amend the Connecticut Guidelines for Educator Evaluation:
“The governor and legislative leaders have shown they are hearing the voices of educators and parents who have been speaking out for their students and children in our state’s schools. We have been calling for just the sort of course correction recommended yesterday to the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC).
“Our political leaders have recognized that teachers, classroom support staff and administrators need greater flexibility in adapting to changes in the way we are now educating our state’s students. As the governor and legislative leaders said in their joint letter:
“‘Too much change all at once impedes teachers’ ability to be effective in their classrooms. Teachers and administrators understandably are feeling burdened and together we must take action to relieve this pressure.’
“We couldn’t agree more. And we believe that the options recommended and adopted today by PEAC will empower teachers to be more effective in the classroom and enable administrators to be more efficient in assessing their performance.
“Let’s be clear; we have not been saying ‘no’ to student assessments or teacher evaluations. We have been saying we need a moratorium on high stakes consequences during the transition to a new approach to teaching our children in order to get the implementation right.
“All our students deserve a quality education; their opportunities to learn should not be compromised during this transition. And our teachers need appropriate training, professional development and to be engaged in developing classroom curriculum during this time
“With PEAC’s approval of new flexibility options, our state’s children will be the primary beneficiaries of this course correction.”


Governor Malloy recommending changes to teacher evaluations…,0,4058443.story

20 minute video news conference of Governor’s announcement on teacher evaluation changes…

An article with reaction from teachers and union leaders…,0,5394563.story

Short article with video from CBS affiliate WFSB…

Short article with video from ABC affiliate WTNH

Video of Republican legislators calling for halt to Common Core implementation…