The city and the teachers union have six weeks to reach a deal to get up to $302 million in federal money over the next three years - but they're not even close.
The grants for 54 struggling schools require the city and the union, whose relationship remains icy, to agree to a new set of teacher evaluations.
"In a year of significant budget shortfalls, it would mean a lack of resources for schools that badly need it," Deputy Chancellor John White said.
"The union has not wanted to negotiate an evaluation system that ensures the lowest-performing teachers are removed. That is a fundamental disagreement."
Union officials said they and the city have not even talked about the evaluation issue since January.
The grants of up to $2 million a year over three years for each school - just two years for 11 of them - can be used to hire mentors, extend the school day and provide professional development for teachers.
Union and city officials said they clashed over whether the city can use the ratings as a high-stakes measure this year.
In the future, two "ineffective" ratings on the new teacher evaluations - the lowest of four options - will lead to a firing.
With the evaluations still not hammered out, union officials say an "ineffective" this year should not necessarily lead to a firing.
How dare the union not allow Bloomberg and Black to run roughshod over them and agree to any old thing for the evaluation system, so that the city can get the $302 million and use it to hire outside consultants and start new computer contracts.
Listen, the UFT should have NEVER agreed to changing the current evaluation system and NEVER agreed to link evaluations to test scores.
They allowed themselves to be bullied into it as part of the Race to the Top boondoggle that was supposedly going to provide money to help districts in financial straits.
But as we have seen, NYC is STILL going to lay off teachers and NONE of that RttT money reached the classroom, so at the end of the day, all we got for giving in to the RttT bullying was a new evaluation system that will give the city the power to fire "ineffective teachers" based upon faulty test scores and faulty value-added modeling.
I hope the UFT continues to fight this evaluation battle - especially since the tests are not yet in place for the evaluations, so nobody even knows that the whole thing is going to look like.
But the city doesn't care. Bloomberg doesn't care. The media doesn't care.
How dare the union NOT agree to any old evaluation system as long as it gives the city the right to declare any teacher they want "ineffective" and fire them after two years?
After all, it's for the kids!