State of Education: Gov. Cuomo’s proposals in State of the State address
Governor Cuomo recently delivered his State of the State address and touched upon several topics, including education. Vince Gallagher reviews some of his proposals while getting some educator reaction.
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First up on the list, creating what the governor calls "a performance culture" for New York State teachers.
"First you need an evaluation mechanism, you need to know what's working, what's not working, what teachers are working, what teachers are not working recognize the teachers that are and help the teachers that aren't," said Governor Andre Cuomo.
"The idea of having someone who is extremely well-trained and then proving to us that they are well trained and ready for that experience, I think it's a great idea,” said Tim Kremer, NYSSBA Executive Director.
With that there's the teacher evaluation system. If the school districts didn't adopt this by the end of the year, they would not get the increase in state aid. Well, now the numbers are in.
"99 percent of the school districts have submitted a teacher evaluation test already ahead of the deadline," said Cuomo.
There was a theme during the address: high performance teachers receive a high reward.
"So we propose a program where high performing master teachers will receive $15,000 in supplement income for four years and they would then become mentors for other teachers," said Cuomo.
Extending the school year and school day is something most educators agree on, but the concern once again is funding.
"I'm glad he respects local decision makers deciding if this is something they want to pursue, but using a local competitive grant looks like it's going to be really difficult for local districts to be able to be eligible for that," said Kremer.
There was also talk on community schools in high need districts, which, in addition to education, would provide health care, nutrition, and family counseling. But what about any topics the governor didn't mention?
"We would have loved to have heard him say we have to do something to fix the funding formula, it need to be done more equitably and we also wished he had addressed mandate relief," said Kremer.
Either way, all of this will require negotiations, and educators say they look forward to working with the governor on specifics as the budget process moves forward.