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Cuomo: I Want to Help Bloomberg With Last In, First Out

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state's last in, first out law is "not the best way to do layoffs" when it comes to the city's education system and he wants to help Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a fierce opponent of the law. But the governor isn't in any rush.

The mayor has said he will layoff more than 4,600 teachers because of budget cuts, and he's been urging Cuomo to support a law ending the last in, first out law — known as LIFO — which passed the state Senate earlier this week.

Cuomo said he's trying to help while being realistic given the timeline.

"This is a very complicated, heated topic," he told reporters Thursday after giving a speech about his budget on Staten Island. "And this is very important to the labor movement all across the state and all across this country. This is not an easy matter. And you can't do it without a law change. And Albany doesn't have a reputation for being the most expeditious vehicle to come up with new laws."

Cuomo also noted the "difference of opinions." While the bill has passed the Republican-led senate, it's unlikely to go anywhere in the Democrat-led assembly.

Given that landscape, Cuomo wants to speed up a new teacher evaluation system that was scheduled to begin next year in exchange for federal Race to the Top funds. Cuomo's proposal is to phase it in during the 2011-12 school year instead of over two years as originally planned. The evaluations would be based partly on student test scores and other factors. Cuomo noted that these evaluations would be used for both promotions and layoffs.

"There's a basic agreement that the current system, last in first out, is not the best way to do layoffs," said the governor, adding that there should be objective criteria that are "merit-based."

The teachers union resists giving up seniority protections because it fears principals will discriminate against more experienced and expensive teachers. The union has been a major supporter of Democratic lawmakers.

But the mayor has criticized Cuomo's system because it won't take effect until September and he needs to lay off teachers this spring. On Thursday, Bloomberg sounded more conciliatory, saying he's worked with Cuomo — who was previously Attorney General — for a long time.

"We both have exactly the same interests of getting the best teachers we can in front of the classroom," he said.

But he added that the city would need a total of $1billion from the state to prevent any layoffs because his current budget counts on $600 million from Albany that has yet to materialize.

Cuomo said it's still early and that he hopes to have a final state budget in place around the April 1 deadline. When asked about Bloomberg's criticism of his teacher evaluation plan, he said, "I think the mayor is or was frustrated in dealing with the legislative process in Albany. I understand how one could get frustrated dealing with the legislative process in Albany."

"I understand where the mayor wants to go," he added. "I am committed to helping him."

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Comments [4]

trjgnfrthgxf from skjdg bvnuoybvnu,Europe

Hi

Jun. 02 2011 06:52 PM
nat from Bronx, NY

Instead of getting rid of experienced teachers we need to get rid of the people who are destroying education (which worked just fine until now). The first to go should be Bloomberg and all the artificial stooges who have virtually no experience running schools. The DOE (dopes of education) should also be terminated. Only experienced educators should be running a school system - not money hungry greedy mafia style polititians. Let the 100% truth be told.

Mar. 17 2011 05:47 PM
Anonymous from anywhere, USA

The problem with changing this law is that any principal can easily get rid of a good experienced teacher merely because they have a dispute. Most first in teachers are doing their job well and don't deserve to be suddenly axed just because... of money. That's right money! By changing this law all experienced teachers making top salary will most likely be fired for no good reason.

It makes sense (to Bloomberg) because he can now hire 2 new suckers (teachers) for the same salary as the one experienced teacher and have thousands left over in the process. Then in a couple of years he can find a way to fire them unfairly. The question is who is really getting hurt by this? Teachers, students or society as a whole?

Yes we should get rid of teachers who are excessively absent (without a good reason), excessively late or are obviously not doing their jobs. However, what about first trying to help the weak teachers do a better job. Before you jump on the Bloomberg bandwagon you've got to realize that the schools are now being inadequately run by people who have little or no experience being educators. That's right ZERO experience.

Is it really a surprise that many 9th graders read at a 2nd grade level? How about the fact that at least 75% of 9th graders can't even do 5th grade arithmetic without a calculator? No wonder the retarded show "Are you smarter than a 5th grader" is still going strong!

Would it be right to have accountants be in charge of a school for doctors and nurses? How about putting an electrician in a college to teach economics? Only Bloomberg would do this (for his friends). Why I ask are we purposely destroying education in America???

Mar. 08 2011 03:39 PM

The "Dynasty's" Reputation with organized Labor is secure.

This is probably the style that Governor Cuomo Jr. will courageously choose to address the problems he promised to deal with - delay to the last moment, punt the problem into the future.

Mar. 04 2011 01:03 PM

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