Posts tagged "Andrew Cuomo"
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…)
February 20, 2013
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to have state education officials impose teacher evaluations on New York City would begin in just three months, he announced today in Albany.
Premiering a slate of budget amendments that he will formally propose on Thursday, Cuomo said he would ask legislators to approve an amendment that would allow the state education commissioner to select a plan well in advance of Sept. 1, the deadline for districts to have evaluation plans in place for the 2013-2014 school year.
“What this law will say is that the State Education Department must render a decision by June 1 for the September deadline,” Cuomo said.
In late May, the city and United Federation of Teachers would be asked to submit their proposals for what an evaluation system should look like, according to Lawrence Schwartz, Cuomo’s top aide. But all of the details would be fully up to State Education Commissioner John King, as long as they follow the state’s evaluation law, Cuomo said.
UFT President Michael Mulgrew signaled that he would not mind letting King have the final say on the evaluation system that is adopted in the city. (more…)
February 19, 2013
After the city and teachers union failed to agree on an evaluation system by his Jan. 17 deadline, Cuomo announced that he would use this year’s budget cycle to seek the right to impose a system on the city. Under his plan, legislators would write the right into state law when they sign off on this year’s state budget.
Budget amendments are due this week, and Fredric Dicker of the New York Post reported over the weekend that Cuomo is planning to propose language that would allow him to impose a teacher evaluation system on New York City if one is not in place by Sept. 17.
That’s not fast enough for some advocates of new teacher evaluations. The teacher advocacy group Educators 4 Excellence, which has been lobbying for new teacher evaluations, is running a television ad this week arguing that Cuomo should impose an evaluation system well before September. (more…)
January 30, 2013
Appearing with legislative leaders this morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that he would seek the right to take over teacher evaluation planning in New York City if local negotiations fall through again.
Cuomo said he still hoped Mayor Bloomberg and teachers union president Michael Mulgrew can break their impasse and agree to a deal on their own terms. But the two sides have failed to reach a deal for more than a year, despite mounting financial penalties for the city, and they fiercely defended their positions in back-to-back legislative hearings this week.
Negotiations resumed this week, and Cuomo said he’s planning to “firmly request” they get a deal done.
“If they don’t, then let the state step in and let the state … determine the evaluation process and impose it on the city of New York,” said Cuomo, who was flanked at a press conference by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate leaders Jeff Klein and Dean Skelos.
January 24, 2013
In some ways, Gov. Andrew Cuomo fulfilled state education officials’ wishes this week when he allocated even more money to cash-strapped school districts than they asked him to.
But Cuomo’s state aid proposal was, in another way, the worst-case scenario that the Board of Regents sketched out last week at their monthly meeting. The Regents wanted new funds to be distributed according to the state’s regular school aid formula, but Cuomo said he would dole out the increased funding according to his own rules.
Knowing that Cuomo already had allocated $75 million in grant funding for this year’s schools budget, state education officials asked him to use the entire amount to help districts expand pre-kindergarten offerings and to distribute the funds mostly to low-income districts. They asked that he put the rest of his education dollars into the foundation aid formula, which doesn’t require districts to apply and compete for funding.
Cuomo’s budget proposal did not fulfill those requests. (more…)
January 22, 2013
Last year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo used his budget address to issue a teacher evaluations ultimatum heard around the state.
This year, Cuomo took that ultimatum and raised it, telling districts that he would again tie their increases in school aid to having new teacher evaluation systems on the books but that he would also reward some of their highest-rated teachers.
Cuomo also set new funding for full-day pre-kindergarten in high-need school districts, early college programs to help high school students accelerate, and extended day programs that he introduced in his State of the State address earlier this month. And he announced that the state would require teachers to clear a new hurdle, a “bar exam,” before being certified to work in New York State.
We’ll have more about Cuomo’s education budget proposals later today, including his answers to three open questions about how he would fund schools. For now, here’s the education section of his budget highlights sheet:
The 2013-14 Executive Budget reflects a continued commitment to supporting improved student outcomes, sustainable cost growth, and equitable distribution of aid. (more…)