Assembly Speaker Carl Heasite this afternoon acknowledged the education reform measure in the 2015-16 state budget are difficult for his members to accept, but the legislation will pass his chamber at some point in the next few hours.
“It’s not an ideal world, it’s not an ideal situation, but the people of this state want an on-time budget,” Heastie told reporters.
The bill, being printed now, will be voted on as soon as its ready, Heastie said.
Heastie had still been negotiating the education policy in the budget that Gov. Andrew Cuomo pursued this year, which includes a new teacher evaluation criteria and tenure requirements as well as a reform to the so-called 3020A process that makes it easier for low-performing teachers to be fired, regardless of tenure.
The state’s teachers’ union remains staunchly opposed to the evaluation, tenure and 3020A changes, and rank-and-file Democrats, too, have been critical of the reform polices.
Both the New York State United Teachers union and their city affiliate, the United Federation of Teachers, have urged lawmakers to oppose the legislation.
“We will pass the bill. Members raised a lot of I’d say issues of concern about implementation,” Heastie said. “You make these kinds of changes, members have questions.”
More later on what to do now that it's clear that Cuomo got everything he wanted on education reform, with a few minor alterations.
Suffice to say for now, the new evaluation system, with the unfunded mandate of independent observers and the onus of the testing thrown onto the teachers, is going to be a mess and the goal will be to make Cuomo own this and ensure it destroys him in his second term.
Every problem that arises because of the new system, we pin on Cuomo.
His people developed this system, he pushed for it, he tied it to education aid increases.
It is his and when it becomes clear that it is an unworkable mess, that problem will be his too.