Governor Dannel Malloy’s education reform bill has suffered a setback after a key legislative committee has voted to postpone changes to Connecticut’s teacher tenure system for a year.
SB 24 has been a contentious issue lately, and news recently broke about Connecticut Education Association feeling pressured enough by it that they felt the need to clamp down on members voicing individual opinions that differed from the established ‘party line’.
The amendments come in the wake of the fiery town hall meetings Malloy held throughout the state where teachers voiced their fear and criticism of tenure reforms.
Despite the delay, the committee measure ultimately would change the tenure process, making it easier to fire ineffective teachers, according to a nonpartisan analysis from the Office of Legislative Research.
The usual 155-day process to fire a teacher would be eventually reduced to 115 days.
Malloy had also proposed a new ‘master educator’ designation for the state’s best teachers but this has also been down-scaled to ‘distinguished educator’ under the committee. The committee further revamped the teacher evaluation system to make it subject to review by the state’s Performance Evaluation Advisory Committee.
The reduction of tenure and evaluations to ‘study bills’ is far from what Governor Malloy was seeking in his campaign for reform.
“The bill the Education Committee appears set to approve represents just one step in the legislative process,” said Roy Occhiogrosso, the governor’s senior adviser, in an afternoon statement. “Gov. Malloy has made it clear that he’s determined to begin fixing what’s broken in our public schools, no matter how long it takes. In the coming weeks, members of this administration will continue to work with legislators and other key stakeholders until there is a bill that represents meaningful education reform.”
There is a May 9 deadline for further amendments.