School improvement grant money restored
Five new york school districts get their money back after the state education commissioner reinstates school improvement grant money to districts having successfully met new teacher evaluation requirements. Our Erin Vannella has the details.
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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- Schenectady City School District Superintendent, John Yagielski reads good news from the State Education Commissioner, John King. He restored Schenectady and four other districts' school improvement grant funding after having suspended it in January.
"The commissioner set a deadline and once they knew the deadline was real they all went back to the drawing board and they really worked hard to get it done," said New York State Education Department Chief of External Affairs Dennis Tompkins. "It just shows it can be done and you can work together to accomplish this kind of plan."
The goal was to create teacher evaluation plans, to improve performance and measure it. Now having done that, Schenectady wins two million dollars, saving 11 teachers' jobs. Albany will have restored $3.3 million, saving student-help programs among other improvement efforts.
"There were several things that we had to put on hold because the SIG funding was put on hold," said Albany City School District Spokesperson Ron Lesko. "One of those programs that was put on hold was an after school extended day program at Hackett Middle School."
"We are among the poorest school district in this whole region," said Yagielski. "We depend more so than any other school district in the area on state funding."
Rochester, Poughkeepsie and Syracuse round out the winning five. The five remaining, including New York City and Buffalo, have requested hearings to change the ruling. Yagielski says it's well worth the trouble.
"We have so many students in need," said Yagielski. "When you look at the poverty of our city you can see the things that are there. So these dollars are really really important to do good things for the students that we need to do. They deserve it."