Cuomo’s Education Agenda Sets Battle Lines With Teachers’ Unions
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York has been laying the groundwork for an aggressive education agenda as he begins his second term, signaling that he will seek several major changes that, atypically for a Democrat, will put him in direct conflict with teachers' unions.
In speeches, interviews and a letter over the past few weeks, the governor has said that he thinks the state's teacher grading system, only in its third year, is too easy to pass, making it too difficult to fire underperforming educators. He has suggested that the limit on the number of charter schools needs to be raised or eliminated. He has also expressed support for a tax credit for people and companies donating money to public schools and private school scholarships.
All of those positions are opposed by the teachers' unions, and they, along with advocates of charter schools and other groups that back those changes, have already committed hundreds of thousands of dollars this month to television advertisements in New York City and Albany, leading up to Mr. Cuomo's State of the State speech on Wednesday.