FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 27, 2011
For More Information Contact:
Tom Dunn, Jonathan Burman or Jane Briggs
: SIG FUNDS IN JEOPARDY
Deadline for districts to meet requirements is December 31
State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. today warned that millions of federal education dollars are in jeopardy because districts aren’t meeting the requirements for continued funding. He said with just a few days left to meet the December 31 deadline for providing evidence of necessary modifications to teacher and principal evaluation systems, most of the districts receiving School Improvement Grants (SIG) have not implemented the changes to maintain eligibility for the funds. King said federal Teacher Incentive Funds and Race to the Top funding could also be in jeopardy if districts don’t meet the deadline.
"These funds are targeted to help troubled schools," King said. "The last thing the students need is to lose resources because the adults who run those schools won’t fulfill their responsibilities. The clock is ticking. When the ball drops at midnight on New Year’s Eve, the money drops off the table, and it will be difficult to get it back. We’ll take action to suspend SIG funds on January 1.
"These districts and their local unions have known about this deadline. Now they all have to get moving and agree on revised evaluations. Losing these funds should not be an option."
King noted that the approvals of districts’ SIG applications were based in part on signed commitments submitted with the applications that stated the districts and the teachers and principals unions would revise, by December 31, 2011, collective bargaining agreements for grades 4-8 classroom teachers and building principals assigned to Transformation and Restart schools to implement the provisions of Education Law §3012-c, Commissioner's regulations, and the SIG application. The districts’ SIG applications also require all other teachers and building principals in Transformation and Restart schools to be evaluated in the four §3012-c categories (Highly Effective, Effective, Developing, Ineffective) using student growth as at least 20 percent of the composite evaluation score in 2011-12.
King said there are 10 districts currently receiving SIG funding: New York City, Syracuse, Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers, Albany, Schenectady, Roosevelt, Poughkeepsie and Greenburgh 11. Only Rochester and Syracuse have submitted materials for review.
Follow the Commissioner on Twitter: @JohnKingNYSED
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