The deadline came and went without an agreement between the Bloomberg Administration and the New York City teacher’s union on a system for evaluating teachers. And so now the city stands to lose up to $450 million in state and federal aid, according to The New York Times.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and UFT President Michael Mulgrew on Thursday made a final, last-ditch effort towards an agreement, a system for how 75,000 New York City teachers would be rated.
But talks fell apart before the Thursday midnight deadline, which means the city no longer is eligible for the $250 million in education aid from Albany and the $200 million in state and federal grants.
The loss of resources means less money for public schools, more teacher and administrative lay-offs, and the obvious: no system for evaluating teachers.
And without a system, there's no means for separating the good teachers from the bad ones, making the process of elimination not only subjective but also vulnerable to repudiation.
Bloomberg said the deal fell apart close to midnight when the union tried to include a last-minute provision to expire the plan after two years, which the mayor called a “joke,” since it takes at least two years to fire a teacher.
But Mulgrew argued the provision, known as a "sunset clause," was standard, and the mayor’s administration was aware of its inclusion from the beginning.
Also, the union wanted to grant more ways for teachers who have become the target of elimination to challenge the evaluation process, which the mayor objected would fly in the face of setting forth an agreement.
In the midst of the failed negotiations, one side continued to blame the other, offering no indication of a new deal in sight, reported the paper.
“The saddest part is that our students will pay the cost,” said Bloomberg. “I can’t tell you how much this pains me to see this happening.”
Mulgrew added, “Thousands of parents have gotten a lesson this week, as the mayor’s ‘my way or the highway’ approach has left thousands of schoolchildren stranded at curbs across the city by the school bus strike. That same stubborn attitude on the mayor’s part now means that our schools will suffer a loss of millions of dollars in state aid.”
Can the two sides set aside their differences and pen an agreement if given a second chance?
“There will be no extensions or exceptions,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo.