In an effort to jumpstart all-but-stalled negotiations on a new evaluation system for New York City public school teachers, StudentsFirstNY today launched a “10 Days of $300 Million” campaign to highlight the negative impact of losing these funds.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Chandra M. Hayslett, Communications Director
StudentsFirstNY Launches Countdown to Jan. 17 Teacher Evaluation Deadline
“10 Days of $300 Million” Campaign to Drive Home Cost of Inaction
Day #1: $300 million could pay for than 6,500 new teachers
New York (Jan. 7, 2013) – In an effort to jumpstart all-but-stalled negotiations on a new evaluation system for New York City public school teachers, StudentsFirstNY today launched a “10 Days of $300 Million” campaign to highlight the negative impact of losing these funds.
Fact #1: With $300 million the city could afford to hire 6,589 new teachers.
“Gov. Cuomo was crystal clear – if the New York City Department of Education and United Federation of Teachers do not reach an agreement on the parameters of how to best evaluate teachers, the city could be forced to sacrifice crucial state aid,” said Micah Lasher, Executive Director of StudentsFirstNY. “What could we do with that $300 million? For one thing, we could hire more than 6,500 teachers. But beyond the money, New York City for the first time is close to having the ability to ensure a quality teacher is in every classroom. The stakes are too high for a deal not to occur.”
The digital and social media effort will feature a daily fact – highlighting what the New York City school system could do with the $300 million -- for each of the remaining 10 days until the Jan. 17 deadline.
In February 2012, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the State legislature created a statewide framework for a new teacher evaluation system that is based on multiple measures of performance. The Governor then offered a four-percent increase in state education funding to each school district that reached an agreement with its local teachers’ union on a new evaluation system consistent with the state’s framework. A deadline of Jan. 17, 2013 was set for having a deal in place.
For New York City, the State’s largest school district, a four-percent increase in State aid is worth approximately $300 million. But New York City is among nine of the nearly 700 school districts across the state that have not submitted an agreement to the State, because the United Federation of Teachers and Department of Education have yet to come to terms.
Negotiations had seemingly been moving forward, according to most public accounts, until recently when public charges started being leveled back and forth on both sides. Most recently, the teachers union started running television ads attacking the Mayor. As a result of the acrimony negotiations appear to be at a standstill.
“With a meaningful evaluation system and $300 million hanging in the balance, the union and DOE must get back to the table and avoid sacrificing both of these invaluable assets,” Lasher said.
Formed in April 2012, StudentsFirstNY with more than 150,000 members, is New York State’s leading voice for students who depend on public education for the skills they need to succeed, but who are too often failed by a system that puts special interests, rather than the interests of children, first.