Education took center stage this budget season in Albany, with teacher evaluations, testing, and tenure the major points of debate as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislature worked on the details of the spending plan, which passed this week. Tim Kremer, the Executive Director of the New York State School Boards Association, has been going over the fine print on some of the major education changes, including teacher evaluations.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature approved some significant changes to the state’s education system and how teachers are evaluated going forward. But, before all that can be implemented, the new system faces a big test, literally, later this month.
A state wage board has agreed to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers form $5.00 to $7.50 an hour. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the change at a rally with union leaders.
Cuomo, speaking to the union members, renewed his call to raise the state’s minimum wage for non-tipped workers to $10.50 an hour, $11.50 in New York City. Cuomo says businesses are making “record profits.”
“Business is doing well, God bless ’em,” Cuomo said. “But it is time that they share. We are looking at a polarization of income in this country like we’ve never seen before.”
Not everyone was pleased with the increase. The state’s Restaurant and Tavern Association says it’s disappointed that the Governor’s wage board did not limit the minimum wage for highly tipped workers to $6.50 an hour. The group predicts that it will slow job growth, and is considering legal action.
Carl Heastie was elected unanimously by Democrats in the New York State Assembly to be the next Speaker on Tuesday, less than two weeks after former Speaker Sheldon Silver was arrested and charged with running a massive multimillion dollar corruption scheme.
Education will be a big issue in 2015, with lines already drawn between teachers at public schools, and Governor Andrew Cuomo and the charter school movement.
Before the New Year even began, the state’s largest teachers union was already making its displeasure with Governor Andrew Cuomo known, by protesting outside the governor’s mansion.
New York State United Teachers President Karen Magee says teachers are angry over what they see as Governor Cuomo’s increasingly negative view of their union, and the public education system in general.
The Cuomo Administration’s preference for secrecy – even at the expense of the public’s right to know – was criticized in a report by an independent fiscal watchdog. The report examined the Administration’s plan to divert over a half billion dollars from New York City’s water quality program to construction of the new Tappen Zee Bridge. The Tappen Zee Bridge links Rockland and Westchester counties in the southern Hudson Valley. Construction of the new bridge could cost $4 billion.