New York City missed the January deadline for a new teacher evaluation system, and it lost a four percent increase in state aid worth, roughly $250 million. YNN's Zach Fink filed the following report.
NEW YORK CITY -- New York City missed the January deadline for a new teacher evaluation system, and it lost a four percent increase in state aid worth, roughly $250 million. The Teachers’ Union and the Bloomberg Administration still haven't reached a deal; and, that means they could be headed for an equivalent state aid loss in the next school year.
"The money is important, but if you had to do with less money, you can't compromise on having a real evaluation system," said Mayor Bloomberg
Mayor Bloomberg says the losses already realized will mean larger class room sizes and the loss of after school programs. Democrats say the governor should not tie aid to an evaluation deal, especially when the city stands to lose out on additional federal money.
"Linking the two things together, the rating system and the funding is a mistake," said Assemblyman James Brennan.
Assemblyman Brennan has started a petition calling on Governor Cuomo not to tie school funding to evaluations.
"We shouldn't have state aid linked to a collective bargaining process that is uncertain and made produce no result," said Brennan
Mayor Bloomberg said for now, the city must absorb the hit.
"The state technically has the right to do anything," said Bloomberg.
But some education advocates disagree. They say the courts have sided with the students before, not only with Thursday’s preliminary injunction, but with the campaign for fiscal equity ruling in 2006. In that case, the court found, after 13 years of litigation, that the state must do more to meet the constitutional requirement of providing an adequate education for public school students.
"We may be in court, not just for the 250, but because the minimum requirements that are necessary, in our opinion, are not being realized,” said New York City Councilman Robert Jackson.
Now that the teacher evaluation system will be imposed by the state, Assembly Democrats are searching for a compromise in this year's budget which would give the education department retroactive power to restore the funding that was lost. The Cuomo Administration would not go beyond their Thursday statement that they will appeal the judge's ruling.