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Supreme Court Justice Manuel J. Mendez has awarded the New Yok City Teacher's union an injunction temporarily stopping Gov. Andrew Cuomo from taking $250 million in education funding from New York City schools. The Cuomo administration plans to appeal.
Cuomo warned the Bloomberg administration and the city teacher's union that they would lose millions in funding if they did not agree on a teacher evaluation structure by last month. Negotiations collapsed at the last minute and both sides have been playing the blame game ever since. Cuomo has refused to restore funding despite please of state legislators. He did however announce that the state will impose a evaluation system on the city by June 1st if a deal can't be reached in order to prevent the city from losing out on more school aid.
Cuomo was facing considerable pressure from city legislators to stop Cuomo from using education aid to force an evaluation deal. The Assembly which has a considerable number of Democrats from New York City including Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver from Manhattan saw this as a sticking point in budget negotiations.
Budget negotiations continue at the state capital. Lawmakers have predicted an early budget agreement this year.
With Mendez's injunction the parents union hopes it may be able to stop city schools from losing any funding at all.
For now it seems that the public school children of New York City have been spared another round of devastating budget cuts that were brought on by the irresponsible behavior of Mayor Bloomberg and Michael Mulgrew", said Sam Pirozzolo, President of Community Education Council 31 in Staten Island in a statement.
"Our children are innocent victims of politics and should not be punished for the failure of the city and teachers union to reach a teacher evaluation system. We need Governor Cuomo to put our children first, be the students lobbyist and waive the $250 million dollar penalty. In the meantime, we will continue to fight for our children's rights in the public school system and a seat at the education policy table", said Mona Davids, President, New York City Parents Union in a statement.
State Government Editor of The Gotham Gazette