[preamble]We thought the unions were penalized. Did they not scream and yell that they LOST money because of the Mayer? Here we go again – Lies and more lies! They knew about this – they stalled and waited – and got what they wanted. They made us believe they lost money and the kids suffered all because of the Mayor. When in realty its they who cheated our kids for generations. I want my money back![backtopost]
- Last Updated: 12:06 AM, March 28, 2013
- Posted: March 28, 2013
When is a penalty not a penalty?
When the “penalized” get all they were expecting anyway — and then some.
That’s the new math that Albany’s just applied to the New York City public-school system. The system was supposed to forfeit $240 million in state aid as the price for failing to reach an agreement with the teachers union on a program for teacher evaluations.
As it turns out, far from losing money, the schools will get $364 million more in state aid than they did last year.
Only a few weeks ago, Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver was howling about the loss of funds. “No one wants to see our children’s education suffer because teachers and the city could not come to an agreement,” he said, vowing to restore them.
Gov. Cuomo took the opposite view. He said that giving New York the $240 million it had forfeited by missing its deadline would be unfair to school districts that had brokered deals with their unions. So he vowed to hold the money back.
And yet — voila! — here we are, with that $364 million increase.
Now, the governor and others insist that the two numbers are not connected — that the school system would be getting $600 million, instead of just $364 million, if there had been a deal on teacher evaluations.
If so, it’s hard to see the incentive here. The threat of losing $240 million in aid was meant to prod the teachers union to agree to the evaluations — and to risk taking a public-relations hit if its stubbornness ended up depriving schools of funding.
But with the schools actually gaining money rather than losing money, the United Federation of Teachers has again had the best of both worlds. It held off Mayor Bloomberg on evaluations. And it understands the real lesson of Albany’s budget increase: Obstinacy pays.