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Karen Magee: Why Do The Rich Need More Tax Credits?

May 21, 2015

Two recent events — one political, one cultural — offer a glimpse into two worlds.

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  Less than a month after it was enacted, Governor Cuomo’s new teacher evaluation plan seems to be in jeopardy, with the Regents Chancellor calling for a year’s delay and a key Senator saying the legislature needs to revisit the issue.

When Cuomo convinced the legislature to approve a new teacher evaluation system that relies more on standardized tests, his administration said that the State Board of Regents would have very limited power to make any changes including compliance with a November deadline to come up with new performance reviews.

Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

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.

With education in flux across New York thanks to the Common Core, there's a mixed reaction to Governor Andrew Cuomo's provisions for it in the freshly finished budget.  

$1.6 billion has been allocated for education in a spending plan that includes several reforms. The budget negotiations are only the latest fault line between the governor, legislative leaders and the powerful teachers’ union.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislature are considering a  commission to design a new teacher evaluation plan, in order to break an impasse over the state budget. But even some lawmakers admit that the compromise is just kicking the can down the road.

Cuomo has demanded that education policy changes be passed along with the state budget, or he’ll hold up school aid increases.

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  One of the most polarizing issues in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget is an education tax credit that would allow donors of up to $1 million to public and private schools to receive a tax benefit. Opponents say it benefits the rich, supporter say it helps poor children.  

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The New York State United Teachers union is criticizing charter schools for taking children out of the classroom to rally at the New York state Capitol later this week.

NYSUT wrote to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state education officials expressing concern about Success Academy Charter Schools' plans to bring some 8,000 students, parents and teachers to Albany for Wednesday's pro-charter rally. Cuomo has called for an increase in the number of authorized charter schools.

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Hundreds of teachers are rallied at the State Capitol late Monday, saying they are calling out Cuomo for what they say is his anti public school agenda.

The teachers, including New York State United Teachers Union Vice President Andy Pallotta say Governor Cuomo has declared a “war” on students, parents, and teachers, and is advancing a “test and punish” agenda.

“The has no respect for public education, ” Pallotta shouted, as the crowd cheered.

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Teachers have been holding rallies all around the state protesting Governor Cuomo’s education proposals, and hundreds are expected to converge on the Capitol late Monday to protest over reliance on standardized tests,   and other issues.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state Education Department should investigate the results of teacher evaluations to see whether the process is skewed to favor teachers.

The administration sent a letter to acting Education Commissioner Elizabeth Berlin on Sunday. That followed a Newsday report that said the portion of teacher evaluations controlled by districts is weighted in most Long Island districts toward ensuring teachers score high enough to get favorable evaluations.

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