Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Fix Is In: King Threatens To Strip Title 1 Money From NYC If No Evaluation System Is In By March 1

Gauntlet thrown down tonight by the corporate education crooks at the NYSED:

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — New York City has already lost out on more than $240 million in state school aid by missing a deadline to adopt a plan to rate its teachers, but hundreds of millions of dollars in additional state and federal funding remain at risk, Education Commissioner John King said Friday.

He threatened to take over control of certain grants should the impasse between the city and its teachers union continue.

He said the DOE was unprepared to implement any plan that's eventually adopted. In a letter Friday to NYDOE Chancellor Dennis Walcott, the commissioner set a Feb. 15 deadline for the department to outline its preparation plans.
He said hundreds of millions of dollars will be at risk, including $256 million in federal Race to the Top Funding that came with a promise to implement a new evaluation system, $727 million in federal Title 1 funding targeting at-risk children and $100 million in school improvement grants for low-performing schools, if the district doesn't comply with state law requiring the plan.
Without progress toward an evaluation system, King said he may declare the district a "high risk grantee" and take control of certain grants.

"It is unfortunate that I am forced to take these actions, but the 1.1 million children who attend New York City schools deserve the very best education we can give them," the letter to Walcott said.

Oh, sure you want to give the children of NYC the best education you can.

That's why you're threatening to take away the Title 1 money if your APPR system isn't imposed by a new deadline.

It's because you care so much about the kids.

Clearly Commissioner King does not like that the state's largest school district will not implement his rigged teacher evaluation system, and so he is going to use every ounce of power he has to extract that agreement from the aggrieved parties here in NYC.

State Education Commissioner John King said the city's inaction on teacher evaluations has put the state's "Race to the Top" grant at risk.
He has given city officials until February 15 to come up with a plan.

The United Federation of Teachers will have until March 1 to sign off on it.

Now I dunno, I don't remember that stipulation being in the Race to the Top law.

I know the NYSED Commissioner was given broad powers in the law, so perhaps he can get away with what sounds very much like his giving the DOE the right to impose a system and the UFT the need to accept it or else.

Because if the NY1 report is correct, that sounds like what has just happened.

I don't know how else to read  that King "has given city officials until February 15 to come up with a plan. The United Federation of Teachers will have until March 1 to sign off on it" other than he's giving the NYCDOE a lot more power than they're supposed to have.

Perhaps the NY1 report is wrong. 

Or perhaps my reading of it is wrong.

More on this as we get information.

But surely you all can see - the fix is in and the boys and girl in charge are going to get their APPR system this year if they have to strip every cent of state and federal aid they can from the city in order to do it.



  1. The blame on this is 100% with Obama. He is the man behind the entire "Race to the Top" crap. He is responsible for holding ever school district in this county hostage to his blood money demands. Sickening to the core for sure.

  2. Replies
    1. Worse than Bush. RttT is worse than NCLB. Accountability is now for the individual teacher, not for the district or the politicians running it.

      The APPR law needs to be changed as soon as possible and King needs to be stripped of his autocratic powers.

  3. This is one of the most disgusting things to come out of Albany in a while, which is saying a whole lot.

    What sense does it make to strip Title I funds, which are federal funds reserved for the neediest students, when we've already lost access to the pittance that was RTTT money?

    I mean, if King wants to play hardball I am sure he could do many other things like cut other types of funding, maybe even funding slotted for six-figured educrats throughout the state. At least then he could pressure the educrats to pressure the school districts to pressure the union. That would be more effective and might actually work.

    But he threatens to take money from the absolute neediest children in the state, most of which are concentrated right here in NYC? It boggles the mind.

    Ok, maybe these Title I funds are the only funds he LEGALLY can mess around with. However, something tells me this is not the case. I certainly do not know the law but the SED has wide authority and can always get more from Cuomo and the legislature.

    The UFT can do a couple of things here. They can appeal to Obama himself and say "this has gone far enough. We worked within the spirit of your RTTT law, got most of the school districts of the state on board and that's that. Step in and do something about the potential misappropriation of FEDERAL funds that you and the Congress have ALREADY GUARANTEED to the State of New York." This would force Obama to take a stand, although we most likely won't like the stand he'll take.


    The UFT can file a lawsuit challenging King's legal authority to do what he's threatening to do. The UFT has had some success in recent lawsuits and public opinion seems to be turning against deform in general, so this tack might give the UFT a fighting chance.

    Or the UFT can do a combination of these two things. Or they can roll over and die which they would be stupid to do with elections right around the corner.

    One thing is for certain: Mulgrew, Casey and the rest of the brain trust are going to have to come up with a shrewd response and fast. Let's see what they do.

    What a horrible human being this John King is.

    1. I am going to assume that whatever deal Mulgrew and Casey were getting before the Jan 17 deadline, it will be worse now because they have been put into a corner by Commissioner King's ultimatum.

      Unless they sue, of course. Does he have the power to strip Title 1 money over APPR? The original law says it doesn't have to be in place UNTIL a contract is agreed upon. The increase in aid was part of the Feb 2012 deal, but the Title 1 money wasn't.

      They probably won't do it, but they ought to sue him while simultaneously working to undo the APPR law that gave the NYSED commissioner expanded powers. Clearly that is as bad as mayoral control.

      And yes, AT, John King really is a horrible human being. I have a piece coming later on that.

  4. Despite everything lending to the contrary I still believe in the people of NYC. Sometime this year critical mass will be achieved in and these criminals will be made to pay for what they've done to the children of the NYC public school system.

    This mayoral campaign seems like the event that will be the catalyst for change. Klein, Steiner, and others have received their golden/platinum parachutes and others are standing in their place. Those replacements will feel the weight of the corrupt house of cards falling on them.

    Christine Quinn is going to answer for allowing Bloomberg a 3rd term when the people of NY voted for term limits twice.

  5. It would be nice if someone would set up an online poll for in-service UFT members and ask them to list the procedures and methodology by which they would prefer to be evaluated.

  6. Could we just take the word "Deadline" out of the dictionary, already?

    When the reformers or 1%ers don't get what they want, it's "extend the deadline" time.

    It happened with the last Mayoral Control sunset, it's happened with term limits, and I'll throw the Obama/Bush tax cuts in, too.


    1. I expected push back from Cuomo, King and Tisch. You can bet Cuomo is behind this threat, only he's using King as the front man. As usual, King doing the bidding of somebody rich and powerful.

  7. This debate is going on all night. Wow.

  8. There must be some mechanism to stop this dictatorial behavior from a "democratically" elected governor. He's stealing taxpayer money earmarked for support for the poorer and needier in our school system and holding it as ransom until he and his fascist cronies accomplish what they want to do with the education system in New York City and state. NYSUT and the UFT just never address the bottom line legality of even the RTTT. I don't notice other entities, such as the military, being asked for changes in its structure and integrity before it gets federal monies. Both the federal and the state governments are abominations.

    1. This is partly our fault. We teachers have not mobilzed en mass against these attacks. If our union won't lead us in this, then we need to do it ourselves. We need a march in Albany ASAP, joined by other teachers in New York State,to let the governor and commissioner know we're not gonna take it anymore. As a voting block, NYS educators are huge. How about it comrades?

    2. The threat to title 1 monies, just illustrates how cruel they really are. They would threaten to strip the poor of crucial educational resources. This is pure and simple blackmail. We teachers must be our own voice standing up for our students, our colleagues, ourselves, and public education. Where can we sign up for the march?

  9. I honestly believe that the UFT should do absolutely nothing in regard to the Feb 15th date. The city and the union did not come to an agreement on the new evaluation deal and thus the city will "loose" 450 million dollars. Race to the Top says nothing about withholding the Title 1 money that Cuomo is threatening to do. The UFT/DOE bargained and came out with no deal. Reaching no deal was a possibility in the way the Race to the Top grant was created. However, for Cuomo threatening to withhold billions of dollars in Title 1 money is a move by a desperate man and the public outcry will be enormous. This time around the general public will put the blame for these "cuts" squarely on his head. Of course the rag papers will blame the UFT if no new evaluation is reached and the money from the state/feds gets cut. That should not matter one bit. The UFT will eventually step to the bargaining table again when a new mayor is a part of the picture. In the meantime, the best move would be to do nothing. Cuomo can not implement his own evaluation deal as that would mean that he would have to change the entire education law already on the books and that would have ramifications for every other school district in NYS. The ball is totally in the UFT's court right now and there is no reason what so ever that they should give in to this new hostage style negotiating.

  10. He will never,do it...he is,bluffing.