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Fallout From Failed Teacher Evaluation Negotiations Continues

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TWC News: Fallout From Failed Teacher Evaluation Negotiations Continues
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As the mayor and teachers' union continue to lash out at one another over the breakdown of the teacher evaluation deal, the stakes continue to get higher and higher for city kids. NY1's Lindsey Christ filed the following report.

Governor Andrew Cuomo's budget proposal includes more money for schools across the state, except, maybe, in New York City.

For the second year in a row, the governor wants school districts to get more state education money only if they follow state law and put a new system in place to measure teacher performance.

"Let's continue to keep the increase in the aid linked to a teacher evaluation system being submitted," Cuomo said.

That won't be a problem for 99 percent of the state's nearly 700 school districts, since they agreed on new systems in time for this year's deadline, which was last Thursday. But Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city's teachers' union, the United Federation of Teachers, failed to reach a deal, costing city schools more than $250 million.

The New York State Department of Education threatened to take away even more money if the city doesn't get a plan approved by March 1. Now, the governor said he wants next year's aid to disappear by September 1 if there's no deal.

Just before the governor's announcement, the mayor spoke at length about how the two sides are nowhere near coming together.

"The UFT is costing our schools hundreds of millions of dollars," Bloomberg said. "But I’m not surprised."

UFT President Michael Mulgrew was out of town, but responded right away with a statement.

"Welcome to Bloombergland," Mulgrew's statement read. "He’s gone from 'my way or the highway' to 'I am always right and everyone else is wrong.' And people wonder why negotiations haven’t been successful."

Despite the hundreds of millions already lost, and hundreds of millions more at risk, both sides insisted they won't give in just to get the money.

"Some have suggested that we should accept their last offer, pretending it was adequate, and taking the state’s money," Bloomberg said. "We will not do that. We are not going to be complicit in a fraud."

"This teacher evaluation will be here way after the Bloomberg administration is nothing but a bad memory," Mulgrew said in December. "It will be here, and it's too important to the school system and to our children. We need to get this right."

Meanwhile, the punishing funding cuts that are adding up are expected to be handed down to schools in the coming weeks.

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