ALBANY - Assembly members from Long Island on Sunday will oppose Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s proposals to toughen teacher evaluations and make it easier for the state to take over schools when they chronically underperform.
As Cuomo and legislative leaders continue to try to craft a budget by the April 1 deadline that includes Cuomo’s education proposals, the bipartisan group of Assembly members will join a rally in opposition Sunday in Mineola.
Nearly a dozen Assembly members are expected to attend the noon rally including Assemb. Steven Englebright (D-Setauket), Michelle Schimel (D-Great Neck), Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove), Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach), and Michaelle Solages (D-Elmont) and Edward Ra (R-Franklin Square).
The rally is organized by the New York State United Teachers union and its allies including the Alliance for Quality Education.
Cuomo has proposed placing greater emphasis on student performance in standardized tests in teacher evaluations, a move strongly opposed by the teachers’ unions. Cuomo also wants the state to take over schools that repeatedly miss meeting academic standards. He said more students particularly in low-income areas are being trapped in “failing schools.”
Cuomo has proposed to more than double his school aid increase of about 2 percent if his measures are adopted by the State Legislature.
“The $1.4 billion school aid increase that is on the table now is not enough, the Assembly proposed $1.8 billion and that should be the minimum,” said Billy Easton of the Alliance for Quality Education. “His idea for a state takeover of underfunded schools full of high-need students is poorly conceived and he is proposing to put standardized testing on steroids by making 50 percent of teacher evaluations based on these tests."