School districts to receive 6 percent more state aid

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — All local school districts are in line to get more State aid this coming year.

The State budget deadline is looming Tuesday night. Governor Andrew Cuomo and State Legislative leaders have agreed to a budget plan that would increase State aid to school districts by an average of 6 percent.

CHART | See how much more each local district would receive here.

But the State aid will be linked to changes in teacher evaluations. The Governor is proposing that teachers could now be evaluated not only based on State tests but also on a locally administered test if a district approved it’s own.

Any teacher who is observed to perform poorly in class could not reach tenure regardless of how the class performs on a State test.
and there would be a new exam for new teachers, plus those teachers would have to be recertified  every five years.

West Seneca Teachers Association President Joe Cantafio believes it;s unfair to tie State aid to teacher evaluations. “So now, the Governor has the money and instead of just giving themoney where it is needed to the students and the schools, he is trying to link a reform that is not valid just to get at teachers to prove a point.”

Teachers unions have been lobbying against the Regents testing and the way it’s linked to evaluations. They say teaching for the State  tests has taken away all creativity for teachers. And they say there are so many other barriers to learning like socio-economics..

“I mean I didn’t realize these problems until I started working in a Buffalo Public school 15 years ago” said Riverside High School teacher Marc Bruno. “The absenteeism is insane. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. We have students come into the West side from all over the world. They work so hard George, but they don’t speak English, or they speak little English or they’re not even literate in their native language, and we’re giving them Regents in English, and we’re like ‘Why aren’t they passing?”

A spokesman for the Governor’s office expects the budget plan to pass sometime Tuesday night.

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