Teacher Tenure in Connecticut
In Connecticut, it is the aspiration of many educators to receive tenure. Once a teacher receives tenure, he or she receives significant job protections, such as seniority and the right to “bump,” non-tenured teachers out of their positions. Inherent in tenure is the ability for a teacher to be free from arbitrary dismissal. Under Connecticut’s tenure statutes, once a teacher has attained tenure, his or her contract renews automatically each year, and a tenured teacher may only be dismissed by a showing of cause, after following such procedural requirements as providing notice to the teacher, specifying charges, and providing the teacher with a hearing on those charges. Under Connecticut General Statue Section 10-151(6), tenure is specifically defined as:
The completion of forty school months of full-time continuous employment for the same board of education, provided the superintendent offers the teacher a contract to return for the following school year on the basis of effective practice as informed by performance evaluations conducted pursuant to section 10-151b. For purposes of calculating continuous employment towards tenure, the following shall apply: (i) For a teacher who has not attained tenure, two school months of part-time continuous employment by such teacher shall equal one school month of full-time continuous employment except, for a teacher employed in a part-time position at a salary rate of less than twenty-five per cent of the salary rate of a teacher in such position, if such position were full-time, three school months of part-time continuous employment shall equal one school month of full-time continuous employment; (ii) a teacher who has not attained tenure shall not count layoff time towards tenure, except that if such teacher is reemployed by the same board of education within five calendar years of the layoff, such teacher may count the previous continuous employment immediately prior to the layoff towards tenure; (iii) a teacher who has not attained tenure shall not count authorized leave time towards tenure if such time exceeds ninety student school days in any one school year, provided only the student school days worked that year by such teacher shall count towards tenure and shall be computed on the basis of eighteen student school days or the greater fraction thereof equaling one school month; (iv) for a teacher who has not attained tenure and who is employed by a local or regional board of education that enters into a cooperative arrangement pursuant to section 10-158a, such teacher may count the previous continuous employment with such board immediately prior to such cooperative arrangement towards tenure; and (v) for a teacher who has not attained tenure and who is employed by a local board of education or as part of a cooperative arrangement, pursuant to section 10-158a, and such board or cooperative arrangement joins a regional school district, such teacher may count the previous continuous employment with such local board or cooperative arrangement immediately prior to employment by the regional board of education towards tenure.
To terminate a tenured educator, a school must show some type of immoral conduct on the part of the educator, incompetence, neglect of their duty, substantial non-compliance with a school law, a conviction of a crime, insubordination or fraud and misrepresentation. If a teacher has attained tenure prior to any layoff, the tenure of such educator shall resume if the teacher is reemployed by the same Board of Education within five (5) calendar years from the teacher’s layoff date.
If a teacher achieves tenure and is terminated for any allowable reason, and is subsequently reemployed by a separate and distinct Board of Education, that teacher shall attain tenure after the completion of twenty (20) school months of continuous employment, provided that the Superintendent offers the teacher a contract to return to the School District for the following school year on the basis of effective practice as evidenced by performance evaluations. If the teacher is informed in writing, prior to the completion of the twentieth (20th) school month following the commencement of employment, that their contract will not be renewed for the following school year, that teacher will not be entitled to the reinstitution of their tenure. Further, if a teacher, formally on tenure, has not been employed by any School Board for a period of five (5) years immediately prior to such subsequent employment, that teacher will not be entitled to the reinstitution of their tenure. It is important to note here that the twenty (20) month requirement is calculated by school months, which is defined to be any calendar month other than July and August, in which a teacher is employed as a teacher for at least one-half of the student school days.
If you are an employer or teacher and are seeking clarification of the Teacher Tenure statutes within the State of Connecticut, contact the experienced employment law attorneys today at 203-221-3100, or by email at JMaya@mayalaw.com. We have the experience and knowledge you need at this critical juncture. We serve clients in both New York and Connecticut including New Canaan, Bridgeport, White Plains, and Darien.
Source: C.G.S. § 10-151
C.G.S. § 10-158
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