Gov. 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. But he says if two parties fail once again to reach an agreement, he will yank $224 million in planned aid, the Daily News reported.
The $250 million in state funding the city lost at the Jan. 17 deadline was a planned four percent increase in education funding in the 2012-13 budget.
Assembly Democrats are strongly opposed to 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.”