Petition Closed

Connecticut’s school districts have faced a rocky economic road for the past few years, and teacher layoffs have become an inevitable part of the equation.

Without legislative intervention, great new teachers may lose their jobs while teachers with a documented history of poor performance remain in the classroom.

Why? Because districts haven’t been freed from the “last-in, first-out” teacher layoff policy – a policy that will guide layoffs in most districts. Connecticut needs smarter staffing policies, and ending “last-in, first-out” is an important first step.

Connecticut can end "last-in, first-out" in a way that is fair to both students and teachers. Districts have evaluation systems that already place teachers in categories like “intense supervision,” which signifies documented, ongoing incompetence. We also know that teachers have specialized training in particular subject areas that should be preserved when possible. Why on earth wouldn’t we let districts make layoff decisions based on those factors, rather than only on teacher seniority? 

Legislators have the chance to change this ridiculous policy – and there’s simply no good reason not to.

Please tell your legislators and the co-chairs of the legislature's Education Committee that you believe we need to end this damaging practice this year.

Letter to
State Senator Andrea Stillman
State Representative Andrew Fleischmann
Connecticut State House
and 1 other
Connecticut State Senate
The research is clear: teachers are the most important factor in raising student achievement in schools. Experience matters, but actual impact on students’ learning matters more.

Connecticut’s school districts have faced a rocky economic road for the past few years, and teacher layoffs have become an inevitable part of the equation. In most districts, those layoffs will be decided based on how long someone has been teaching, not their performance in the classroom. But district leaders have information that could be used to inform layoffs so that they wouldn’t have to rely solely on seniority; districts' evaluation systems already place teachers in categories like “intense supervision,” which signifies documented, ongoing incompetence. We also know that teachers have specialized training in particular subject areas that should be preserved when possible. Why on earth wouldn’t we let districts make layoff decisions based on those factors, rather than only on teacher seniority?

It's hard to imagine anyone defending the idea of laying off promising or excellent new teachers when we know that there are ineffective ones who would keep their jobs just because they happen to have logged more years in the classroom.

Connecticut cannot afford to put teacher seniority ahead of everything else, especially students. Please take action during this legislative session to end this unfair practice and put students first. I look forward to hearing from you on your position on this critical issue.