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Ugly dispute between NYC, teachers’ union may result in $450M loss

Posted at 9:01 AM, Jan 18, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-18 09:26:28-05

NEW YORK (PIX11) – The battle between the city and the teachers union over teacher evaluations may have just cost the city a small fortune in school aid.

That sucking sound you may be hearing is $450 million dollars in state education aid that could have been going into classrooms but instead may be going down the drain.  It’s because the city and the teacher’s union couldn’t come up with an agreement on teacher evaluations.

The mayor is pointing the finger at the union. “There was an agreement to be had here. We were actually very close. But unfortunately every time we approached a deal in recent days , the U.F.T. moved the finish line back.”

That breakdown in negotiations puts the city at risk of losing 450 million dollars.  They would lose 250 million in state aid and another 200 million in grants for the troubled school system. The overall school budget is nearly 20 billion dollars.  The union representing the city’s 75,000 teachers blames the mayor for the impasse while he governor is insisting that the midnight Thursday deadline to submit a plan for teacher evaluations or lose the cash was a firm one.

The mayor says the deal fell apart because of last minute demands from the union that would have made the evaluations ineffective. The mayor said, ” First the UFT wanted the entire agreement to sunset in June of 2015.  That condition would essentially render the entire agreement meaningless. The mayor went on to say ” That’s because the process of removing an ineffective teacher requires 2 years, and if the agreement sunset in two years the whole thing would be a joke.”

The mayor says the union also wanted teachers to be able to double the number of grievances they could file in relation to an evaluation.  The teachers union says the mayor is misrepresenting the facts on the sunset provisions and that they have been talked about all along.