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Teacher Evaluations: New Deadline; More Money at Stake

Governor Cuomo extends the deadline, puts an additional $224 million on the table to coax deal

Governor Andrew Cuomo has eaten the promise he made last week of “no extensions or exceptions,” if New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the United Federation of Teachers failed to reach an agreement on a system for evaluating teachers:

Although the two parties did in fact fail to reach an agreement, the governor has extended the deadline to Sept. 1, 2013. But he says if the two parties fail once again to reach an agreement, he will yank $224 million in planned aid, reported the New York Daily News.

The $250 million in state funding the city lost at the January 17 deadline was a planned 4 percent increase in education funding in the 2012-13 budget.

Assembly Democrats are strongly opposed to Gov. Cuomo’s contingency deadline, pointing out that if the two quarreling parties once again miss the boat, the students will suffer from the $224 loss-- not Bloomberg or the teachers.

One New York City high school principal, who preferred not to be named, also disagreed with Cuomo’s decision to put $224 million at stake. According to him, it jeopardizes much-needed aid for students. “Putting that much money at stake is dangerous for students, because the UFT is not going to agree to any teacher evaluation system as long as Bloomberg is mayor,” he said.

“The UFT wants to make it almost impossible to fire teachers, even if they’re bad teachers. So, they’ll just sit back and wait until their next guy is in City Hall-- someone who they can buy off.”

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