FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Commissioner King Restores SIG Funding For Two School Districts
State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. today announced he has restored School Improvement Grant (SIG) funding for two SIG school districts. King said the two districts -Yonkers and Roosevelt - have submitted acceptable teacher evaluation and support agreements in accordance with their 2011-2012 applications for federal SIG funding. In January, King suspended SIG funding for 10 districts across the state due to failure to reach evaluation and support agreements that complied with the state and federal SIG requirements.
"This proves that districts and teachers can get it done,” Commissioner King said. “After SIG funding was suspended in January, these districts went back to the drawing board and worked out agreements that meet the state and federal requirements. Yonkers and Roosevelt can now receive their 2011-12 SIG funding. Teacher and principal evaluations are a major ingredient of the Regents reform agenda. Students in these SIG schools have been denied a good education for far too long. Meaningful teacher evaluations and the improvements funded with SIG money should help start to turn that around."
Last month, King restored SIG funding for five districts – Poughkeepsie, Syracuse, Rochester, Albany and Schenectady – after they submitted acceptable teacher evaluation agreements.
King noted that the initial approvals of districts’ SIG applications for the 2011-12 school year were based in part on commitments that districts and the teachers and principals unions would revise, by December 31, 2011, collective bargaining agreements for 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 federal SIG requirements. The failure of the districts to meet those commitments led to the suspension of funding.
King added that the seven evaluation agreements accepted by the Department apply only for the current school year. School districts will have to submit new evaluation agreements that comply with the new teacher evaluation legislation passed by the legislature and expected to be signed by Governor Cuomo shortly.
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