Sen. Griffo says aid withheld from districts failing to meet teacher evaluation deadline should go to schools that did
Monday, January 21, 2013 - 9:15 am

State Sen. Joseph A. Griffo (R, Rome) says that aid to be withheld from school districts failing to meet a deadline should be reallocated to schools that did meet the deadline.

Griffo, who represents the 47th District, which includes Massena, Brasher, Norfolk, Stockholm, Pierrepont, Russell, Clifton, Fine and Pitcairn townships, is asking Gov. Andrew Cuomo to send school aid the state has said it will withhold from districts that have not filed the required teacher evaluation plans and share it with schools that met the state deadline.

All the districts in St. Lawrence County submitted their plans in time for them to be approved before the deadline.

“Developing this teacher evaluation system was a difficult process for many schools, but they stuck to the reform concept offered by this plan and filed their plans by the state’s deadline,” Griffo said. “This represented extensive labor especially for the small rural districts in areas I represent that do not have the vast administrative systems of larger urban districts. The administration has made it clear that without plans, aid would be withheld. The concept I advance is very simple: Reward those who turned in their work on time.”

New York City’s district and two other downstate districts missed the deadline, according to the state Education Department website.

Griffo’s letter to Cuomo reads, “At a time when the challenges of funding education in this state have never been greater, and school districts all across this state have committed themselves to reform by investing countless hours in developing and submitting teacher evaluation plans, I believe that these schools that have done their work and met all required deadlines should be rewarded for their efforts.

“Districts have been told for months that failure to file by this deadline could lead to the revocation of millions of dollars in state aid. At a time when we in Albany are requiring responsible action on the part of all branches of government to use existing resources to the fullest, I believe that money in aid that would have gone to districts that failed to meet the deadline should be reallocated and sent to the many schools – some very small with minimal administrative staffing – that rose to the challenge.”