New York – Mayor Bloomberg scored a brief victory Tuesday night in his push to end the last-in, first-out law governing teacher layoffs before he was big-footed by Gov. Cuomo.
Moments after the GOP-controlled state Senate approved a Bloomberg-backed measure to overturn the law, Cuomo unveiled his own proposal, effectively restarting the legislative process – and infuriating City Hall.
“It is time to move beyond the so-called ‘last-in, first-out’ system of relying exclusively on seniority,” Cuomo said. “However, we need a legitimate evaluation system to rely upon.”
Cuomo said his bill would expand ongoing plans by the state Board of Regents to implement a statewide objective teacher evaluation system that could be used to replace last in, first out by the new school year.
But Bloomberg, who was blindsided by the announcement, said Cuomo’s bill would be of little help in dealing with the more than 4,600 teacher layoffs he’s planned for as early as this spring.
Bloomberg aides called Cuomo’s plan a “scam” that doesn’t actually repeal the LIFO law and even suggesting it was drafted by the teachers union as a “total smokescreen.”
Cuomo aides have maintained they don’t believe teacher layoffs are even necessary.
“There’s no scam here,” one said. “All we do is accelerate the law that’s on the books, one the mayor supported when they were doing Race to the Top last year.”
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, like Cuomo, said he favored an “objective standard” based on more than just seniority in determining layoffs.
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