Connecticut Pact Averts Teacher Layoffs

CONNECTICUT state and city officials Saturday forged an agreement that would eliminate an $11 million school-budget gap, save school programs, and preserve hundreds of teachers' jobs.

Working with labor mediator Martin Weber and State Education Commissioner Vincent Ferrandino, officials announced a plan that combines school-budget cuts with money from the city and concessions from the teachers' union.

The agreement would require that the Board of Education eliminate $5.4 million worth of major repairs, computers, textbooks, and some nonteacher personnel, said Board of Education president Allan Taylor. It also would require that teachers make $3 million worth of concessions, and it includes a $3 million commitment from the city that would come from renegotiating the state's Hartford Civic Center lease.

The pact needs ratification by the Board of Education, City Council, and teachers' union. It would avert the layoffs of some 150 teachers and the elimination of some school programs.

"It means we can open school a week from Wednesday with all of our teachers in place, teaching all of their classes to all of their children," Mr. Taylor said.

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