The UFT achieved its long-sought goal of eliminating the requirement that student test scores be a factor in the Annual Professional Performance Review process in the state budget approved by the state Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo on March 31.
“Today marks the end of a long and difficult journey that we undertook as a union,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. “Now, under New York State law, test scores cannot be mandated for use in teacher evaluations.”
Cuomo agreed to sign the legislation as part of the final budget agreement.
The state’s new financial plan for the fiscal year beginning April 1 increases education funding statewide by $961 million at a time when the state faced a $2.3 billion budget shortfall. New York City’s share of that increase was $373 million.
The budget holds funding steady at $14.26 million for Teacher Centers in the state and provides $450,000 for the UFT’s United Community Schools.
State test scores in Grades 3–8 will also now be removed from students’ permanent records, “a critical step toward righting the state’s failed testing policies,” Mulgrew said.
To protect workers from anti-union groups seeking to exploit the Supreme Court’s Janus v. AFSCME decision, the budget makes it an improper practice for a public employer in New York State to release lists of employees’ personal information, including names, home addresses and contact information. Unions are also now protected by state law from lawsuits from former agency fee payers seeking reimbursement of fees they paid to public employee unions prior to the Janus ruling.
Mulgrew said the post-Janus protectionsin the budget bill “strengthens unions in their ability to support and protect working- and middle-class families.”