Posts tagged "andrew cuomo"
September 16, 2013
The next phase of the education election kicked off today as the UFT’s pick for mayor conceded the Democratic nomination on the steps of City Hall.
UFT President Michael Mulgrew, who was among Bill Thompson’s supporters at the event this morning, threw his support behind Bill de Blasio, who finished last week’s primary with a commanding lead. He said he would ask the union’s leadership to endorse de Blasio this week.
Thompson’s loss was a significant blow for the UFT, which had declined to endorse mayoral candidates in the two previous mayoral elections and has not picked a winner since 1989. This year, the union decided to back Thompson, who ran unsuccessfully against Mayor Bloomberg in 2009, after determining in June that the former school board president and city comptroller had the best chance of winning in November. (more…)
June 26, 2013
The waning days of the 2013 legislative session in Albany were, as expected, unproductive when it came to education.
In fact, in most arenas, the session was marked more by what didn’t get done than by what did. Many of the big-ticket items on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s agenda, including a Women’s Equality Act and reforms to campaign finance and ethics laws, appear dead after failing to pass in the final days and hours of the session. For education, which was not a priority, most of the work was done when the budget passed in April. The highlights included a boost to state education aid, another round of competitive education grants, and yet another round of changes to the state’s troubled teacher evaluation law.
As we rounded up last year, here are some of the education highlights and lowlights of the legislative session.
1. Budget or bust (more…)
May 17, 2013
For the second time in six months, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tiny team of education aides is undergoing transition.
The departure of Katie Campos, Cuomo’s P-12 assistant education secretary since 2011, comes as one of the governor’s major initiatives, his education reform commission, prepares to renew its operations.
Campos’s last day is technically today as she prepares to enter law school this fall. But a spokesman for Cuomo said she’s sticking around parttime — and unpaid — through the summer to oversee the commission, which convenes next week for a second and potentially more controversial phase of meetings.
Cuomo and a small circle of policy advisors, including Jim Malatras, set the governor’s education agenda. But the execution of that agenda is largely left to a deputy secretary and two assistants. Campos’s is the second departure in a year for the triumvirate, of which Campos, at 27, was the most experienced member. (more…)
May 15, 2013
It was already slim odds that education would get much action from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislature this session after they increased school aid, funded several education grants, and amended the teacher evaluation law during budget negotiations in March.
But in the aftermath of a federal corruption dragnet that has brought down several lawmakers, any glimmer of hope that education could get some attention seems to have vanished.
“With this legislative session, with all the corruption, I would be surprised if anything gets passed,” said Mona Davids, who runs the New York City Parents Union, a parent advocacy group. State Sen. Velmanette Montgomery, of Brooklyn, sponsored a bill to end mayoral control that Davids lobbied for. The bill’s long odds grew even longer after Montgomery’s named surfaced last week as one of seven lawmakers recorded in the home of former Senator Shirley Huntley, who was cooperating with investigators to reduce a prison sentence. Huntley was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for embezzling funds from a charity she ran.
Davids said she believed Montgomery, who has not been charged, has done nothing wrong. Still, she said she doubted the bill could proceed before the session ends on June 30. “It’s May, but it’s over,” Davids said. (more…)
April 23, 2013
ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo found himself in a familiar situation today: Defending his teacher evaluation law against yet another snag.
The latest issue is the revelation, reported Monday by the Buffalo News, that Buffalo promised its teachers union not to move to fire any teacher based on this year’s evaluations. State law allows — but does not require — districts to begin termination proceedings for any teacher who receives two straight “ineffective” ratings. But state education officials have argued the deal has no legal grounds since it wasn’t submitted to or approved by the state.
In a radio interview today, Cuomo called the side deal, struck at the same time as Buffalo and its union agreed on a new teacher evaluation system in January, “very close to legal and ethical fraud.”
Buffalo is the state’s second-largest city. The biggest, New York City, has not yet adopted new teacher evaluations at all. The city has until May 31 to submit its own negotiated deal; after that the state is mandated by law to impose a plan. (more…)
March 27, 2013
Lobbying and political spending records offer a different, behind-the-scenes view into the group’s activities under Lasher, a seasoned legislative director who abruptly announced this week that he is leaving to become state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s chief of staff.
The records show that the group spent more than $100,000 in Albany, largely to bolster Republican legislators who frequently oppose policies that teachers unions support and who are seen as a bulwark against the erosion of mayoral control in New York City. (more…)
March 21, 2013
For the second year in a row, legislators are revising the state’s teacher evaluation law in part because of New York City’s difficulties in complying with it.
The legislature is expected to insert new language into the law to clarify that plans stay in effect even after they expire, according to officials briefed on the budget legislation, which has not been finalized. Concerns that a negotiated plan would default back to the current system was one reason talks between the Bloomberg administration and the United Federation of Teachers broke down earlier this year.
The change would ensure that, moving forward, no districts could ever be without an evaluation system. To enforce that teachers are being evaluated according to the system, a new state aid penalty will be imposed on districts that fail to implement their plans. (more…)
March 13, 2013
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was not satisfied with the surprising announcement that New York City’s steep budget penalty would be temporary, but his education committee chair said she thinks the news could could ease budget negotiations in Albany.
“To me that means we’re halfway there,” Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan said today during the legislature’s joint hearing on the state’s proposed education budget.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Assembly, and the State Senate have each proposed spending plans and they must come to a consensus before the end of the month. This year, because Passover and Easter fall at the end of March, legislators are shooting for a final budget by next week, which means they must strike a deal by the end of the weekend to meet timeline requirements. (more…)
February 27, 2013
A court order and support from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver aren’t enough to stop the city from slashing its schools budget this year.
City officials said today that they were fiscally obligated to move forward in making a midyear budget adjustment to account for an expected $250 million deficit during the final months of the school year, even though a judge has for now barred the state from taking back the funds.
The move has the attorney who convinced the judge to halt the state budget cuts planning to sue the city, too. (more…)
February 21, 2013
Gov. Andrew Cuomo won’t be able to penalize New York City for failing to adopt teacher evaluations while a lawsuit against the penalty makes its way through the courts, a State Supreme Court judge ruled today.
The judge said Cuomo’s latest ultimatum — that the city adopt a system or have one imposed — proved that a financial penalty was not the only way to motivate districts to adopt new evaluations.
Cuomo announced last year that he would withhold increases in state school aid from districts that did not adopt new teacher evaluation systems by Jan. 17. New York City missed the deadline, and Cuomo said he would take back $250 million from the city’s schools.
But parents and advocates of equitable school funding sued, and a judge today issued an injunction against the penalty, at least until he has had more time to consider the merits of the lawsuit. (more…)