New Haven, CT - The Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN) on Tuesday launched its updated, easily searchable Teacher Contract Database, which is the only online resource providing every public school districts’ collective bargaining agreements in Connecticut. The revamped website includes collective bargaining agreements for 175 Connecticut public school districts – representing all districts that have collective bargaining agreements – into a user friendly website, allowing anyone to compare contracts from across the state. Together, Connecticut’s public school districts educate over 550,000 kids and employ more than 40,000 teachers, according to the State Department of Education.
ConnCAN launched the first version of its Teacher Contract Database last year. Since then, more than 50 districts negotiated new contracts – including Waterbury, Stamford, New London, and Middletown – which are included in the revamped database. Other new features in the updated website include: a district snapshot with the number of teachers and schools in each district; an expanded salary section that allows comparison between new and old contracts; and information on health insurance benefits contained in each contract.
“Collective bargaining agreements are important drivers of school district policies and costs, which directly impact the working conditions for teachers and the environment in which kids learn,” said Jennifer Alexander, chief executive officer at ConnCAN. “That’s why we created a user friendly resource for teachers, parents, policymakers, and advocates, to further understand what is included in collective bargaining agreements that govern school districts across Connecticut.”
In comparing the 175 school districts’ collective bargaining agreements, ConnCAN’s key findings include:
Few districts tie salary to teacher performance or effectiveness: Only nine school districts (5 percent) tie teacher performance and effectiveness to salary increases, including New Haven, Hartford, Southington, West Haven, East Granby, Coventry, Columbia, Bloomfield, and Woodstock Academy. Also, only 50 school districts (29 percent) stipulate that salary increases can be withheld due to negative evaluations.
Seniority is the key factor in most teacher layoffs, not performance: When it comes to teacher layoffs driven by budget cuts, seniority is either the sole or primary factor in 162 districts (93 percent). Conversely, no school districts use teacher evaluation results as the sole factor in layoffs, and only 34 school districts (19 percent) use teacher evaluations as a primary factor in layoffs.
Starting teacher salaries can vary wildly from district to district: In Connecticut, the average starting salary for a first year teacher with a master’s degree is $46,971. But from district to district, that starting salary can vary wildly. For example, the average starting salary for a teacher with a master’s degree in Greenwich is $57,917. But, in Thomaston, the starting salary for that same teacher is $40,816.
Users can create up to four district-to-district comparisons at a time, and download PDF versions of every contract. The website also provides graphical highlights of state trends and notable contract provisions.
About the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN)
The Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN) is an advocacy organization leading a movement to improve public education for kids. We bring parents, educators, policymakers, and advocates together to help ensure that all kids have access to great schools regardless of race, wealth, or zip code. To learn more about ConnCAN, visit: www.conncan.org.