Posts tagged "up in the air"
June 21, 2012
At 20 years old, Luis Saavedra has used his exhausting list of accomplishments — high school valedictorian, purple belt in taekwondo, track and field star, 3.8 GPA in college — to earn enough scholarships to pay nearly the entire amount of his school tuition.
Still, the Bronx resident’s plans to finish his bachelor’s degree at Lehman College and attend medical school will be impossible to achieve if his pool of scholarship aid dries up.
Like other undocumented students, Saavedra cannot rely on government financial assistance or on private bank loans.
But Saavedra, like many immigration reform advocates, hopes that President Barack Obama’s recent announcement to halt some deportations will push Gov. Andrew Cuomo to support New York’s version of the DREAM Act today, hours before the state’s legislative session ends. The act has languished in the State Senate without Republican support for more than a year.
Cuomo has said he supports a federal DREAM Act but has declined to endorse the state’s version and, unlike other elected officials, did not praise Obama’s policy announcement last week.
The state’s bill would give undocumented students access to financial aid through the state-funded Tuition Assistance Program, which provided $885 million to students in 2010-2011. Extending financial aid to undocumented students could cost about $17 million more, a 2 percent increase. (more…)
May 9, 2012
City officials are fretting that even a temporary halt to hiring at 24 turnaround schools will weaken their ability to carry out a key piece of the improvement strategy for those schools: recruiting top-quality teachers.
On Tuesday, when the Department of Education agreed to halt hiring in the schools for at least a week during the first round of a union lawsuit, officials said no hiring would be happening yet anyway. But they are worried about what would happen if Judge Joan Lobis grants a temporary restraining order extending the freeze, as she did two years ago when a union lawsuit over school closures came before her.
If that freeze extends into June, officials say it could hurt the schools’ chances of attracting and retaining the most qualified teachers in the applicant pool.
When the judge decides whether to grant a temporary restraining order, she will weigh the likelihood that the unions’ case has merits — but not the merits themselves — and also the likelihood that a delay would harm the schools. Department officials seem likely to argue that the schools would not be able to recover from a slowdown because teachers may not be able to hold out until June if they receive other job offers before then.
But the request for a restraining order is not unexpected: The UFT vowed to sue almost as soon as Mayor Bloomberg announced the turnaround plans in January, and seeking a temporary restraining order is the first step in many legal fights over school policy. (more…)