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State of Education: Gov. Cuomo’s budget plan
Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his state budget plan this week. He says this proposal isn't really a spending plan, but a chance to overhaul how the state spends. As Vince Gallagher reports, one major focus in education was teacher evaluations.
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"If districts don't have the evaluation system in place by January of next year, they would lose access to the increased aid,” said John King, NYS Education Commissioner.
Education Commissioner John King's take was money is important, but so is quality teaching
"I think the governor's key point is that while funding is a critical issue, accountability is also a critical issue, and the Regents have made a long standing argument that we need both," said King.
Assembly Speaker Shelden Silver also weighed in.
"You lose funding, you lose jobs, so I think you will - as a result of that - a lot of agreements from across the state," said Silver.
Then there's Race to the Top: a $700 million award from the federal government, on the condition there would be teacher evaluation systems. Since this hasn't been the case, as the governor explained, the situation changed.
"No award, no evaluation system, no money...so the federal government wants their money back...that would be $700 million, if they include the SIG funding, that's one billion dollars from the state,” said Governor Cuomo.
And much of this would come from the poorer school districts. While New York State spends more than any state on education, it ranks 38th in terms of graduation. So a common message here is that it's a tough job, but we have to do it.
"I hope the education groups out there understand that this has to get done and I would like to see them do it on their own, there's a time frame here, I think we've waited long enough,” said Dean Skelos, (R) Senate Majority Leader.
With the governor proposing a 4.1 percent hike in education spending, there's another incentive to get to an agreeable stage
"I think a lot of districts will be coming to the table, a lot of unions will certainly be at the table saying we've got to deliver this four percent for our communities,” said Richard C. Iannuzzi, NYSUT president.