Updated 01/18/2013 11:43 PM
State Education Officials Threaten To Cut More City Funding
State officials are threatening to cut even more education funding if a plan on teacher evaluations isn't reached within a month. NY1's Lindsey Christ filed the following report.
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The deadline came and went, but the city and the United Federation of Teachers are not off the hook on putting a new teacher evaluation system in place. In fact, the hook just got sharper.
A day after losing nearly $300 million in state money that schools had been counting on this year, the city learned nearly $1 billion more is now on the line.
State Education Commissioner John King set new deadlines and raised the stakes even higher.
"They have an obligation to continue to negotiate until they resolve the issues," King said.
In a letter to Chancellor Dennis Walcott, King said the city has to submit a plan by February 15 on how exactly they are going to put new teacher evaluations in place, and get the teachers' union to agree to it by March 1.
If not, the state may take charge of how the city spends hundreds of millions of dollars in education funds, a blow to the mayoral control system Mayor Michael Bloomberg put in place a decade ago.
The city could also lose another $256 million, its portion of the state's Race to the Top grant, which requires a new teacher evaluation system.
They have a legal obligation to continue that bargaining," King said.
But the mayor and UFT President Michael Mulgrew continue to exchange insults and accusations.
"We're dealing with an administration that we don't get along with," Mulgrew said.
"They just don't want to have their members evaluated or have the city have a ways to remove ineffective teachers from the classroom," Bloomberg said.
The governor and state education commissioner said city and union share the blame.
"They both failed," Cuomo said. "One is going to point at the other, and they're going to ask me, 'Who's right? Who's wrong?' I don't know who's right, who's wrong, but I know they both failed."
"They assume that the other has bad intentions," King said. "I think it's very hard to bargain in that context."
Even the Obama administration got involved. The secretary of education got on the phone with both the mayor and union president.
The secretary has said the whole state could lose funding if its largest school district doesn't reach a deal.
"The Department recognizes that these negotiations have implications on New York's Race to the Top work, so it does give cause for concern, as we expect the state to meet the goals laid out in their application," a spokesperson with the U.S. Department of Education told NY1.
But despite the new threats, the city and union said their positions won't change and they won't sign off on a system they don't like, no matter how much money is at stake.