Governor Delivers State of the State and Executive Budget

change in spendingGovernor Cuomo presented his State of the State address and his recommended Executive Budget on January 21. The governor’s statements and proposals will be analyzed by SAANYS and discussed in detail with the SAANYS Board of Directors on January 23 and 24. SAANYS is also scheduled to present written and verbal testimony at a Joint Hearing of the Legislature on February 3. In the meantime, we are providing you with the following summary of salient points:

Early in his speech, in regard to his overall proposed budget, the governor stressed the need to “maintain fiscal discipline.”

Annual Professional Performance Reviews (APPRs): The governor indicated that all the recommendations submitted to him by Regents Chancellor Tisch and Acting Education Commissioner Berlin should be implemented. That letter may be found on the SAANYS website here.. However, the governor went on to make the following proposals, some of which are not entirely consistent with the letter from SED.

  • Annual Professional Performance Reviews – Fifty percent of the APPR evaluation will be based on the state score and the remaining 50% shall be based on observations. Teachers must receive an Effective score in both subcomponents in order to receive an overall rating of Effective or Highly Effective.
  • A teacher could be removed after two Ineffective ratings, unless the teachers proves that the rating is “fraudulent.” Note, this means that removal is not determined based on the validity of the evaluation (before or after appeal) but whether the rating is based on cheating or dishonesty.

Tenure: The governor indicated that all the recommendations submitted to him by Regents Chancellor Tisch and Acting Commissioner Berlin should be implemented. In addition to proposing that the probationary period of teachers be extended to five years, the governor went on to propose that in order to be granted tenure, a teacher must receive FIVE CONSECUTIVE years of Effective APPR evaluations. (If a teacher is rated Developing in year 4, the teacher must begin again to amass five consecutive Effective evaluations, and remains probationary in the meantime.)
Early Childhood Education:No additional monetary support beyond the $365 million allocated last year is proposed by the governor for prekindergarten programs for children four years of age. He proposes an allocation of $25 million to preschool education for children three years of age.

Failing Schools: The governor proposes that schools that fail three years turn over operation to another entity. We need to research more specific information in this regard.

Mayoral Control: The governor expressed support for mayoral control in New York City, and raised it as a consideration for “other cities.”

Charter Schools: The governor proposes to raise the current charter school cap (460) by 100 – to 560 – without regional caps (e.g., New York City).

Mentoring: The governor announced his plans to establish a Mentoring Commission, to be led by his mother Matilda Cuomo, pro bono.

Dream Act: The governor supports passage of the Dream Act. This legislation (previously proposed by the State Education Department) would allow undocumented students who meet in-state tuition requirements to access state financial aid and scholarships for higher education.

State Aid: The governor proposes an incentive/punishment provision whereby if ALL of his education proposals are implemented, state school operating aid will increase 4.8% or $1.06 billion. If ANY proposal of the governor’s is not implemented, state school operating aid will increase by 1.7% or $377 million.