Eight of the 10 school districts who are receiving School Improvement Grants could lose the money if they don’t meet Saturday’s deadline to provide evidence they have made the necessary changes to their evaluation systems for teachers and principals, state Education Commissioner John King said in a statement today. Millions of dollars in federal funding are in jeopardy, he said.
Rochester and Syracuse have submitted materials to the state for review. New York City, Buffalo, Y0nkers, Albany, Schenectady, Roosevelt, located in Nassau County, Poughkeepsie and Greenburgh 11, located in Westchester County, have not.
“These funds are targeted to help troubled schools. The last thing the students need is to lose resources because the adults who run these schools won’t fulfill their responsibilities,” King said. “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.”
The state will move to suspend the School Improvement Grants Jan. 1 for districts that haven’t submitted their materials, he said.
Approving the districts’ applications for SIG money was based partly on signed commitments they submitted that said they would work with unions for teachers and principals to revise collective-bargaining agreements for evaluations, King said.
“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,” he said.
Not complying with Saturday’s deadline also could compromise federal Teacher Incentive Funds and Race to the Top funding, according to King.