Senate Dems Submit ‘Legislative Solutions’ To Budget’s Education Measures
Senate Democrats introduced on Tuesday a package of measures designed to alter the education policy changes included in the state budget last month.
The measures reflect a growing effort in both the Republican-led Senate and Democratic-controlled Assembly to address the growing dissatisfaction over the budget agreement that included a new teacher evaluation plan as well as make it harder for teachers to obtain tenure.
“Quite frankly, I’m proud Senate Democrats voted against these changes,” Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said.
Among the changes being proposed by Senate Democrats:
-End the linkage of school aid to school districts adopting the new evaluation measures
-Create an “advisory council” that would review the annual performance review plans
-Restore more local control over the student achievement metric when it comes to developing teacher evaluations
-Establish a community school grant program
Lawmakers in both chambers are also in virtual agreement the Board of Regents will not be able to meet the June 30 deadline to develop regulations for the new evaluation criteria and are trying to push that deadline back.
“I can tell you, the theme no matter where you are is the same: The changes won’t help our students,” Stewart-Cousins said. “We have to agree, our main goal is helping our students.”
Senate Democrats are once again taking a more aggressive approach with the Cuomo administration on school reform as the governor himself continues to push measures opposed by the statewide teachers union, NYSUT.
Sen. Mike Gianaris, the deputy minority leader, said in an interview on Monday with NY1 that Cuomo’s education push this year was comparable to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s policies toward labor.
Still, Senate Democrats aren’t completely opposed to all of the governor’s education measures. Seven Democrats in the chamber last voted for the tax credit when it was before them this year, including Stewart-Cousins.
“There’s never been a conference position on it,” Stewart-Cousins said of the EITC. “Several of our members have voted for and several have voted against, I expect it will continue in that fashion.”
She added she was yet to review the repackaged measure introduced by Cuomo this month.
One insider with ties to the Cuomo administration scoffed at what they saw as a disconnect.
“We all know that Mike Gianaris will say anything to get on TV, even if it’s nonsensical special interest talking points that put him at odds with his own leader,” the insider said.
Cuomo backs a lifting of the state cap on charter schools as well as the education investment tax credit, which is aimed encouraging donations to public schools and scholarship programs for private and parochial schools.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on May 19, 2015 at 2:44 pm, and is filed under Education. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|