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Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 240-0200

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As Amended by Senate "A" (LCO 4726)

House Calendar No. : 474

Senate Calendar No. : 422

OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected


FY 11 $

FY 12 $

Education, Dept.

GF - See Below

See Below

See Below

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact:



FY 11 $

FY 12 $

Local and Regional School Districts

See Below

See Below

See Below


Sections 1 and 2 do not result in a fiscal impact.

Section 3 requires the State Department of Education (SDE), by July 1, 2013, to expand the state-wide public school information system. It is estimated that expanding the state-wide public school information system to satisfy the requirements contained in Section 3 will result in an additional cost of approximately $7. 0 million. It is anticipated that SDE would require the additional funds by the start of FY 12 in order to complete the expansion of the data system.

Additionally, Section 3 requires all local and regional boards of education to participate in the expanded data system, and requires schools to report on all necessary information that is required. It is anticipated that this could result in an additional minimal cost, of between $5,000 and $20,000, to local and regional school districts associated with additional clerical staff time to collect, process, and submit the information. This is a mandate on local and regional school districts.

Section 4 requires SDE, by July 1, 2013, to develop guidelines for a model teacher evaluation program that includes student academic growth and requires local school district evaluation programs to be consistent with those guidelines. It is estimated that the number of individuals who would have to be trained under the new evaluation program is approximately 7,000. It is anticipated that training costs for all 7,000 individuals would be approximately $7. 0 million or $1,000 per person, including professional development, training to use the new evaluation system, and developing reliable student achievement measures. It is anticipated that the majority of the costs would be one-time in nature, and would be needed by the start of FY 13 and into FY 14. Only minimal resources would be required annually once all individuals have been properly trained.

Section 5 creates a Performance Evaluation Advisory Council within the SDE, and is not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact.

Section 6 permits a board of a priority school district to convert an existing school or establish a new school as an “innovation school” through agreements with the teacher and administrator unions at the school for the purpose of improving school performance and student achievement. There would be no fiscal impact to the state, and the fiscal impact on local and regional school districts would be dependent on the scope and the content of the plan.

Sections 7 and 8 require SDE to offer training to the members of newly reconstituted boards of education. This will result in a minimal cost of less than $10,000 per year to SDE associated with the printing the distribution of materials for new members.

Section 9 expands opportunities for a school district to reemploy retired teachers who are collecting pensions from the Teachers' Retirement System (TRS), and is not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact.

Sections 10, 11 and 12 do not result in a fiscal impact.

Section 13 eliminates the requirement that the State Board of Education (SBE) issue charters for state and local charter schools only within available appropriations. There are currently 18 charter schools within the state. This could result in an additional cost to the state if there are more charter school charters approved. Section 13 also waives enrollment limits for state charter schools that demonstrate a record of achievement. This could also result in an additional cost if more students are accepted to charter schools, as the state currently provides a grant to charter schools of $9,300 per student. There are approximately 5,000 students enrolled in charter schools throughout the state.

Section 14 requires eligible teachers hired by charter schools after 7/1/10 to participate in the Teachers' Retirement System (TRS). Current law allows eligible teachers employed by charter schools to participate in the TRS. While the majority of charter school teachers currently participate in TRS, the number of additional teachers who will be required to participate in TRS as a result of the amendment is not known at this time.

To the extent that this provision increases the number of teachers participating in the pension system there would be an increased cost to the state which funds the TRS for Connecticut public school teachers. Using an average teacher salary of $50,000, the annual state TRS contribution cost associated with one additional teacher participating would be $7,600.

The state contribution to TRS is $559. 2 million in FY 10 and $581. 6 million in FY 11. The state contribution is calculated by the TRS actuary as a percentage of active member payroll. Based on the most recent TRS valuation 6/30/08, the state's annual contribution is 15. 21% of payroll. Teachers are required to make an annual member contribution of 6% toward their pension. The 6/30/08 valuation showed that the TRS had an unfunded liability of $6. 5 billion and a funded ratio (assets/liabilities) of 70%.

Section 15 makes the charter school facility grant program permanent. Under current law the program was only available for FY 08 and FY 09. This could result in significant additional cost to the state if additional bond authorizations are committed for charter schools.

PA 07-7, June Special Session, authorized $10. 0 million in state bonding for FY 08 and FY 09 for the charter school facility grants, of which $5. 0 million has not been allocated.

Section 16 does not result in a fiscal impact.

Section 17 of the bill revises high school graduation requirements. Beginning with the freshman class of 2014 (graduating class of 2018), the amendment raises, from 20 to 25, the number of credits required to graduate and changes course requirements.

In order to prepare for the change in curriculum the State Department of Education (SDE) will need to develop model curriculums. Additionally, online courses may need to be utilized to prepare schools and teachers for the change.

It is anticipated that SDE will require approximately $3. 4 million beginning in FY 13 and minimal additional resources over the next several years, to develop the model curriculum and prepare local and regional school districts for the change in curriculum.

Additionally, beginning in FY 13, in order to prepare for the freshman class of 2014, local and regional boards of education will require additional staff to aid in the senior demonstration projects (“Capstone”), and other topic areas (math, science and world language), where requirements have been expanded. It is estimated that each senior demonstration advisor would have 10 to 15 advisees. There are currently 38,000 high school seniors in the state of CT. Assuming: (1) an advisee ratio of 10 to 15 per advisor, (2) teachers teach five periods per school day, and (3) capstone classes meet every other day, it is estimated that an additional 250 to 380 staff would be needed throughout the state, for the senior demonstration project. It is estimated that 40 percent of local and regional school districts currently have a senior or capstone project in place. It is unknown if such projects would meet the standards established by SDE. If so, fewer additional teachers would be needed. Table 2 below provides a summary of the potential additional costs.

Table 2

Additional Staff

Salaries ($)

Fringe Benefits ($)

Subtotal- local and regional impact ($)

Teacher Retirement Contrib. ($)

Total ($)


10 million

2. 2 million

12. 2 million

1. 52 million

13. 72 million


15. 2 million

3. 34 million

18. 54 million

2. 31 million

20. 85 million

The average starting teacher salary in CT is approximately $40,000, which could result in additional salary related costs, which are paid for by local and regional school districts, of $10 million to $15. 2 million annually, state wide.

Additionally, local and regional school districts are required to pay fringe benefits for teachers, which equates to approximately 22% of salary related expenses, or approximately $2. 2 million to $3. 34 million, annually.

Using an average teacher salary of $40,000, the annual state TRS contribution costs associated with hiring 250 to 380 additional teachers would range from $1. 52 million to $2. 31 million. The state contribution to TRS is $559. 2 in FY 10 and $581. 6 in FY 11.

The amendment may result in construction costs to some school districts whose facilities are insufficient, particularly in the area of science lab space, to meet the increased graduation requirements. Any increased local construction costs would also result in increased state costs through the school construction grant program.

Additionally, Section 17 requires that beginning with the freshman class of 2014, local and regional boards of education provide adequate student support and remedial services for students beginning in grade seven. This provision expands the state mandate from local and regional high schools to local and regional middle schools. It is unknown how much this provision would cost individual school districts, but it is anticipated that in larger districts, or districts with a high number of students requiring remedial services, the costs could be significant. There are several alternatives for providing remedial services, including: retaking courses through summer school or on-line courses, taking an alternative examination, providing an alternative assessment for demonstrating competency, or taking a class at a constituent unit of higher education. A three credit class offered at the Regional-Technical Community College System costs approximately $453 per class.

Additionally, it is anticipated that SDE would require approximately $500,000 per year (for years FY 14 - FY 18) to assist districts with properly targeting remedial student support services.

Sections 17 and 20 require that standardized end of year examinations are given for the following courses: Algebra I, Geometry, Biology, American History, and grade ten English. It is anticipated that SDE would require significant resources, of approximately $2. 0 million, to develop the tests, and provide professional development training at the district level. Section 20 requires that SDE, beginning in FY 13, develop and approve the four end of year examinations. Therefore, the $2. 0 million in costs mentioned above will not be incurred until FY 13.

Section 18 of the amendment requires SDE to establish a board examination series pilot program to allow students in grades nine, ten, eleven and twelve to substitute achievement of a passing score on a series of examinations for the high school graduation requirements. It is anticipated that there would be no costs to SDE to implement this pilot program. However, it is anticipated that Section 18 could result in minimal costs to local and regional boards of education associated with administering the tests and providing testing materials to students.

Section 19 of the amendment allows SDE (for fiscal years 2013-2018), within available appropriations, to provide grants to local and regional boards of education to begin implementation of the provisions contained in Sections 17 and 18. It is anticipated that these grants could be significant, as local and regional boards of education will require additional staffing, professional development, and equipment needs in order to meet the new requirements. The grants are to be administered within available appropriations and will result in one of four outcomes: (1) SDE will proceed with its required duties, and may require a deficiency appropriation; (2) SDE will delay the implementation of the bill pending the approval of additional appropriations to meet these requirements; (3) SDE will shift staff resources from other agency priorities, thereby impacting existing agency responsibilities and duties; or (4) SDE will not be able to administer the grants.

Additionally, Section 19 requires local and regional boards of education seeking grant assistance to report to SDE on the progress of implementation and explanation for why funds are necessary for the following biennium to continue to implement the new provisions. There is no additional cost to SDE to collect this information from local and regional boards of education; this provision will allow SDE to estimate how much grant funding will be required for the upcoming biennium.

Section 21 gives school authorities express authority to use a student's past disciplinary problems that have lead to the student being suspended or expelled as a criterion for determining whether an out-of-school suspension is warranted in a particular case. Before determining that an out-of-school suspension is appropriate, the school must have tried to address the problem through means other than an out-of-school suspension or expulsion, including through positive behavioral support strategies. This could result in a cost savings to local and regional boards of education, if a school determines that an out-of-school suspension is more appropriate than an in-school suspension.

Senate “A” (LCO 4726) struck the original bill and its associated fiscal impact and resulted in the fiscal impact described above.

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to inflation.

The preceding Fiscal Impact statement is prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for the purposes of information, summarization and explanation and does not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.