Cuomo Defends School Cuts, But Not Teacher Layoffs

Andrew Cuomo, not entirely in sync with Michael Bloomberg’s education agenda.

Tom Precious:

At one point earlier in the news conference, Cuomo acknowledged that New York City is going to have to lay off teachers because of expected state aid cuts. Later, though, he said threats by districts of teacher layoffs and classroom cuts are misplaced.

“It’s a threat. It’s a game. It’s a game. They want to oppose the cuts politically, so what do they say — I’m going to hurt your child, your child won’t get an education,” Cuomo said of education advocates who have criticized his planned 7 percent state aid to schools plan.

“This is not about a teacher in the classroom. This is about less bureaucracy, less administrative overhead, less superintendent salaries, less high salaries for administrators, more efficiency in transportation, more efficiencies in back offices, more efficiency in payroll. That’s that this is about. This is about recognizing the new economic reality, that government is responsible for management just like everyone else,” Cuomo said.

Later, in touting recent findings from the State Comptroller, Cuomo sent out a statement, saying:

The oft-repeated scare tactic from various interest groups that teachers must be fired simply is not so. And what’s worse, it uses students as pawns in a political game. 

UPDATE: A spokesman for the State Comptroller – who released a report saying “Most Districts Have Enough Reserves For One Year” – says the findings do not include New York City.

Cuomo Defends School Cuts, But Not Teacher Layoffs