YONKERS—With less than two weeks before a state deadline, the city school district and the teachers union have struck a last-minute deal on a new evaluation plan tied to millions of dollars in badly-needed aid.
Yonkers schools Superintendent Bernard Pierorazio announced late Friday that the Board of Education had reached hard-won agreements on a plan with both the teachers’ and the school administrators’ unions.
Districts across the state have been racing to submit their so-called Annual Professional Performance Review plans because if they do not have them approved by Jan. 17 they could lose any increases in state aid for 2012-13.
For Yonkers, $17 million is at stake. City school officials have said losing that money would likely force the district to cut 126 jobs and scale back programs mid-year.
“The agreements keep the district’s instructional programs in place and our employees’ jobs safe for the remainder of the school year,” Pierorazio said Friday.
The district’s announcement came a day after Education Commissioner John King named Yonkers as one of nine districts—out of roughly 700 statewide—that had yet to submit plans to the state for approval. The Education Department has signed off on more than 530 plans and has provided feedback to others.
In Yonkers, negotiations became mired in a dispute between union and school officials over whether the new evaluation plan should be tied to a new teacher contract.
The district said Friday it was on track to settling a new teachers’ contract through 2013-14 and expected the union to ratify an agreement late Friday evening.
School officials said they hope to finalize contracts for school administrators and civil service employee next week.