With the state budget deadline of April 1 looming, New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) will be gathering at the Capitol on Thursday to protest Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s education reform proposals.
Since Cuomo released his budget proposal in late January calling for significant changes to the teacher evaluation process, NYSUT has been on the offensive, launching numerous ad and social media campaigns.
On Wednesday, NYSUT president Karen Magee said the union would support a stakeholders panel that would vet Cuomo’s proposed changes to the teacher evaluation system. The State Assembly majority conference is currently debating establishing such a panel.
From Capitol Confidential:
“We’d be in favor of a panel … of stakeholders,” Magee said, adding that the panel would have to have no power over aid or the authority to put any changes to the evaluation system into effect.
Cuomo’s proposed plan that would change the evaluation process for teachers so that 50 percent of scores are based on state exams and the other 50 percent on observations. Teachers would have to be rated highly effective or effective in both areas to receive an overall rating of highly effective or effective. A teacher who has two consecutive “ineffective” ratings would be removed from their teaching position.
NYSUT will also be protesting Cuomo’s withholding of state aid from schools until a budget deal is reached and high-stakes testing. Cuomo has tied $1.1 billion in education funding to the passage of his proposed reforms.
On Wednesday, Republican senators spoke out against Cuomo’s decision to withhold aid.
From the Buffalo News:
Sen. John J. Flanagan, R-East Northport, influential chairman of the Senate Education Committee, dismissed talk Wednesday that a decision on school aid will be delayed until June.
“I don’t envision any circumstance where we’d leave here without a school aid run and school aid numbers,” he said.
The NYSUT rally will be held at 4 p.m., Thursday on the “Million Dollar Staircase.”