Last month, Governor Andrew Cuomo made a statement that failing schools across the state could face having the state take over. While NYSUT's President is speaking out against the comment, he hopes the Governor can shift and re-focus the state's education efforts. Capital Tonight's Nick Reisman has more.
NEW YORK STATE -- The president of the state United Teachers union says it's time to turn the page after Governor Andrew Cuomo called for severe repercussions for failing schools.
"We've moved on and I hope everybody can move on because there's a lot of important work that has to be done," said NYSUT President Richard Iannuzzi.
Cuomo, last month, suggested that under-performing and failing schools could face the threat of state takeover if they can't improve.
"Whether it is a takeover by the state or mayoral control or takeover by a charter school, there’s going to have to be a death penalty for failing schools, so to speak," Cuomo said.
Iannuzzi called the statement unfortunate, but he hopes Albany can re-focus its efforts next year on improving education in the state and seized on the recommendations of a Cuomo-appointed commission.
"The governor has a commission that's come out with some really positive recommendations about community schools and pre-k and that's what we need to concentrate on and not a war of words," Iannuzzi said.
Cuomo says he isn't comfortable with Albany telling local districts how to run their schools. But in New York City, Mayor Bloomberg has gotten even tougher on troubled schools and has closed 146 schools during his tenure. The teachers union says closing schools isn't a good option.
Iannuzzi said, "You don't walk away from a troubling school by closing it and just moving the chess pieces and putting someone else in charge of it, you need to have constructive ideas moving forward."
And next year, NYSUT says it will push for changes to the property tax cap it says has made it even harder to make ends meet in struggling cash strapped districts. Cuomo has said the tax cap is not only working, but more money alone won't fix the state's education issues.