The state Legislature and Gov. Cuomo late on March 29 announced that they had reached agreement on a new state budget, which contained several changes to education policy.
UFT President Michael Mulgrew released the following statement in response:
The hedge-fund billionaires and Governor Cuomo haven't gotten their way.
The Legislature today, led by the Assembly, reached an agreement on a package of education proposals that will immediately increase state aid to schools, provide that teachers are evaluated on more than a single student test score and ensure local oversight of struggling schools. Other hedge-fund agenda items, including plans for corporate-style individual teacher merit pay and efforts to undermine teacher due process are among the issues that have been sidetracked, although they were highlighted in the administration's attempt earlier this year to pressure the Regents and the Legislature.
We will still have many battles to fight even when a new budget is in place. We oppose the raising of the charter cap until charter schools serve an appropriate percentage of the state’s neediest children, and we will be working with the State Education Department on the details of a fair evaluation process for teachers.
But Governor Cuomo's attempt to hold public education aid hostage to the radical agenda of his hedge-fund pals hasn't worked so far, thanks to the Legislature and the thousands of parents and teachers who fought to protect their children and their schools.