Cuomo: NYC Failure To Reach Teacher Eval Deal Is A Tragedy
Speaking to Rep. Pete King, who was guest hosting for John Gambling on WOR 710 this morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it was a tragedy that New York City and United Federation of Teachers failed to reach a deal on teacher evaluations, losing out on as much as $450 million in state and federal aid.
“I said last year to the roughly 700 school districts that if you don’t do it, you are not going to get an increase in funding. If you want to get paid, you have to perform. That is the way the world works. I said this a year ago. Almost every school district got it done in the state except New York City. There is a very small handful that didn’t get it done and New York City is by far the largest. They have asked me several times if I would extend the deadline. And I said no. Because a deadline is a deadline. And if you extend, then the next time you say it is a deadline than it’s really not,” Cuomo said.
“So they missed the deadline and the city is not going to get the funding. And it’s a tragedy. It really is a tragedy. And they both failed. One is going to point at the other and ask me who is right, who is wrong. I don’t know who is right or wrong. But I know they both failed because we needed an agreement. And now the education system in the city is going to suffer.”
Yesterday both the UFT and Mayor Bloomberg held separate press conferences within about 30 minutes of one another, and each blamed the other side for their inability to reach consensus.
Bloomberg claimed an agreement could not be reached due to added requests from the teachers’ union. But UFT President Michael Mulgrew said at a later that an agreement was in fact reached, but the mayor renegged on the deal.
The bulk of the radio interview between King and Cuomo focused on the Sandy aid relief package that the 113th Congress passed after both houses of the 112th failed to do so before the end of 2012.
Both Cuomo and King berated lawmakers for taking so long to act on an aid package to assist New Yorkers impacted by the storm.
“The most fierce opposition in Congress we had came from members of Congress in states like Texas and Florida and Gulf states who have received the most aid in the past. California which received earthquake aid. States in the midwest that have got money for tornadoes and floods. They were leading the opposition to us,”King said.
“I just found it disgraceful. And quite frankly it is going to be difficult going back and working with people who you sit next to and when they were in need we responded immediately. Not one member of Congress ever voted against or said one word of opposition to aid going to other states when the money was needed. Yet, we were going around like 3rd world beggars – at least they wanted to put is in that position.”
Cuono and King also discussed New York’s passage of new gun control laws, specifically banning assault weapons, which the Long Island Republican said he supports.
Cuomo reiterated what he has been saying througout the week – that the legislation was long overdue. He went on to say that government has been “delinquent” on the issue of guns because it was politically difficult to take action.
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