After letting $300 million in state funds slip out of our children’s hands, coercion might be the only way to get Mayor Bloomberg’s D.O.E. and the United Federation of Teachers to come to an agreement.
Yesterday, Governor Cuomo told reporters that Albany has no problem imposing its own teacher evaluations system on New York City if the two parties miss the September 1st deadline. Repeat: the September 1st deadline — another eight months have been given to school districts to solve this mess.
This extension still doesn’t stop the Mayor’s budget from cutting 700 teachers this year; however, this state intervention parallels the impending doom for 1,800 teachers come September. And, if that’s what it comes down to, the City will no longer lose state funds because of the negotiation nonsense, which will hopefully stifle further cuts into staff.
But what’s ironic about the governor’s gesture is the origin of the policy controversy: the 2010 state law that outsourced the responsibility to local school districts of coming to a deal. It knowingly cornered the already-tenuous relationship of the Bloomberg administration and its teachers; now that’s failed, Mr. Cuomo is flexing its enforcement to solve a mistake Albany made.
This irony was the main motive behind a verbal dispute in the Capitol a few days ago between Mayor Bloomberg and the State Legislature. Hizzoner blamed the State Legislature for even writing the 2010 law while the State Legislature blamed the Mayor and the union for placing politics above future generations’ education. If you haven’t realized yet, politics is mostly finger-pointing and solutionless bullshit. But at least it’s entertaining so you can watch the sparring here.
Regardless, President Michael Mulgrew is in support of Gov. Cuomo’s interventionist approach: “While we would prefer a negotiated settlement, it’s good to know that should the talks fail again, people who actually understand education will be part of the decision-making process.” The mayor, on the other hand, is a bit more reluctant to let the lawmakers who initiated this feud in the first place take the reigns from his D.O.E.
This story will seriously never end.