Bristol Federation of Teachers

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BOE on Track to Have $1 Million Teacher Salary Surplus — February 10, 2019

BOE on Track to Have $1 Million Teacher Salary Surplus

In a year when class sizes stretch to unacceptable numbers (nearing 30 in some elementary schools and surpassing that in some middle and high school classes), the BOE is set to finish the 2018-19 school year with a $1 million surplus in the budget for teacher salaries.

From the BOE Finance Committee meeting minutes of January 14, 2019:

The budget is holding steady. We continue to forecast that we will have approximately $1M in the teacher salaries line available for transfer, and can utilize these monies to mitigate the costs of special education services.

Click here for a letter published in USA Today discussing the impact lower class sizes have.

Had that money been used as intended, and not as a rainy day slush fund, it could have paid for approximately 14 full time educators. Additional teachers could have been hired to open extra sections where class size was unusually high. It could have been used to hire instructional support, or paid for much needed SPED teachers or social workers.

The budget for the 2019-20 school year is being finalized and is expected to be voted upon at the March 6 BOE meeting.

Breakfast With Legislators — February 7, 2019

Breakfast With Legislators

Plan now to participate in one of seven regional meetings scheduled through April with area legislators on AFT Connecticut’s policy priorities for the 2019 session of the General Assembly. The first two take place in six weeks, so RSVP today to make sure your voice is heard:

Central CT –
  • WHEN: Saturday, March 16 from 9:00 to 11:00AM.
  • WHERE: Testa’s Banquet Facility, located at 26 South Center Street in Southington.
Hartford Area –
  • WHEN: Saturday, March 16 from 12:30 to 2:30PM.
  • WHERE: Margaritas Mexican Restaurant, located at 350 Roberts Street in East Hartford.
Click here to send e-mail to sign up to attend — there is no cost for members, but RSVPs help us plan since breakfast and lunch are served.
If you’d prefer one of the other five meetings taking place through April, we’ll be following-up with local area members closer to the dates they are scheduled.
We hope you can join us in showing your legislators that union members expect them to put working families first so all of us in Connecticut can “thrive together.”
More to come, and in solidarity,
Teri Merisotis
Legislative Advocate, AFT Connecticut
Jim Vigue
Legislative Advocate, AFT Connecticut
Regionalization In Connecticut: A Good or Bad Thing? — February 2, 2019
Meet CT Legislators this Saturday — January 31, 2019

Meet CT Legislators this Saturday

This Saturday, February 2, AFT CT will host its annual Legislative Conference at the Legislative Office Building (LOB) next to the Capitol in Hartford. Here is the agenda. RSVP at the bottom. The greater the attendance of teachers, the greater the focus for education  this session.

  • 9:00 – 9:10 – Welcome and Overview: AFT Connecticut President Jan Hochadel
  • 9:10 – 9:45 – Social Justice Issues Panel: AFT Connecticut VP Stephanie Johnson, State Sen. Julie Kushner, State Rep. Robyn Porter (invited)
  • 9:45 – 10:05 – Patient Safety Discussion: AFT Connecticut Exec. VP John Brady, AFT Connecticut VP Lisa D’Abrosca, State Sen. Matt Lesser
  • 10:05 – 10:20 – Governor Ned Lamont (invited)
  • 10:30 – 10:45 – State Sen President Pro Tempore Martin Looney
  • 10:45 – 11:15 – Post-Janus Legislation in CT: State Rep. Mike D’Agostino
  • 11:15 -11:45 – Post-Janus Federal Lawsuits: AFT Research and Initiative Director Ed Muir
  • 11:45 – 12:00 – Speaker of the State House Joe Aresimowicz (invited)
  • 12:00 – 12:30 – “Pensions 101” Discussion: CT AFL-CIO President Sal Luciano
  • 12:30 – 1:00 – Lobbying 101 Workshop (for beginners) & Public Hearing Workshop (for experienced activists)
Click here to RSVP to attend.
Note: conference will be canceled in event of inclement weather – check back for any announcements to be posted here.
State of Connecticut Legislative Office Building (LOB)

300 Capitol Avenue


Wear Red to Show Solidarity with LA Teachers! — January 9, 2019
Teaching News for Bristol & Connecticut — January 8, 2019

Teaching News for Bristol & Connecticut

Here is a recent Bristol Press article concerning the MBMS Arts Magnet, with some new developments.

From the Courant, Hartford Federation of Teachers, in a unique and unfortunate situation due to Hartford’s poor finances, going to arbitration to fight “union busting” contract.

From the L.A. Times, the latest on the strike that is about to occur, with more news here from CNN.

And finally, it what should be required reading for all school administrators and education reformers, a recent Washington Post article about the Dunning-Kruger Effect, in which the least competent feel the most confident.

This Week’s Notable Education Articles — January 5, 2019

This Week’s Notable Education Articles

Here is a great Washington Post piece about a survey done with principals, the results of which clashed with the narrative of the Central Office bureaucrats.

The Bristol Press had several articles on the schools this week…

This one explains the ever-increasing SPED costs and how they impact regular education.

Coverage of Dr. Moreau announcing her retirement. Her successor will be named next week.

Coverage (before the event was held) of the “Community Conversation about Equity, Inclusiveness & Excellence”

BOE Sponsors a “Community Conversation about Equity, Inclusiveness, and Excellence” — December 26, 2018

BOE Sponsors a “Community Conversation about Equity, Inclusiveness, and Excellence”


January 3 from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm at BEHS


The facilitator will be Kerry Lord, from the Connecticut Center for School Change.

Attendees can expect a light supper, short presentation, and then to work in small groups.

Here is an article explaining why equity and inclusiveness are necessary to improve gaps in learning…

…and here is one explaining why the concept is a red herring.

Obama-era Guidance on School Discipline Rescinded — December 18, 2018

Obama-era Guidance on School Discipline Rescinded

With Bristol teachers increasingly voicing concerns about student discipline, several new developments have occurred. The first is at the state level, where legislation that passed overwhelmingly in the last legislative session to address classroom safety and discipline, but vetoed by Governor Malloy, will be revised and re-introduced next month when the Connecticut Legislature convenes.

The second was news today at the Federal level, where guidelines issued in 2014 will be rescinded to allow districts more discretion in enacting discipline.

Here are the articles:

The full report from the Federal Commission on School Safety (180 page PDF)



City Journal – Excellent article discussing discipline and race.

Bristol Subs: How Do They Compare? — December 12, 2018

Bristol Subs: How Do They Compare?

No subs for PD? Instructional support staff pulled as subs again? Why does Bristol have a perpetual sub problem? Here is some data regarding pay…
Bristol – $80 per day – BA degree/non-certified; $90 per day retired teacher
How does Bristol compare? See below:
Avon – Uses Kelly Educational Staffing – Certified subs make $91/day
Farmington – Hire their own – BA degree is required
New Teachers – $76/day
Retired Teachers -$85/day
Wolcott – Hires their own – BA degree is required – $90/day
Southington – Hires their own – $85/day
Plymouth – Uses Kelly Educational Services – $91/day
Plainville – Hires their own – $85/day
After 40 consecutive days, interview and teacher step up level.
Canton – Hire their own but looking to use Kelly Educational Services in the future.
Watertown Hires their own – $75/day for the first 10 consecutive days.
After the 10 days, go through interview process and pay will be
determined based on experience and certification.
Meriden – Hires their own – $75/day. If you work 40 or more consecutive days and are
certified, the pay increases according to contract.
Cheshire – Hires their own – certified subs get paid 80% of the BA/BS degree level 1 = $198.19. After 40 consecutive days in same position, pay increases to 1/186 of their
equivalent annual rate for each day worked – (capped at $306.85/day