Extra state aid is on the line for one school district.
The Massena Central School District and the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services are the last entities that need to have plans for teacher evaluations approved by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomos Jan. 17 deadline a little more than a week away.
Both turned in Annual Professional Performance Review plans to the state Education Department recently and are waiting to hear about approval. Although Jefferson-Lewis BOCES submitted a plan, it does not receive any state aid.
A district without an approved plan by the deadline will forfeit state aid in an amount equal to the increase between the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years, Education Department spokeswoman Antonia Valentine said in an email message. The amount varies from district to district based on formulas and claims received.
Massena Central School Superintendent Roger B. Clough II said he expects the plans to be approved by the deadline.
He would not divulge how much extra state aid is at stake for the district.
The district and Massena Federation of Teachers agreed on the plan Feb. 16 and the Board of Education approved it that night.
After that, Mr. Clough said, the district completed its plan with the agreed language and submitted it to the Education Department about the end of October.
They look at it and if they have any revisions, they call you back up, Mr. Clough said. We had to make minor revisions. It was maybe a five-minute call with state Ed.
Those revisions included items such as missing a word or not properly cutting and pasting a sentence, Mr. Clough said.
District officials made the changes during the holiday break, he said, so they were unable to get all the required signatures to resubmit it until after the holidays. At the moment, the district is waiting for the Education Departments final approval.
Jefferson-Lewis BOCES turned in its original teacher evaluation plans Friday and received a letter confirming the Education Department received it Monday.
We completed the work before the holiday, Superintendent Jack J. Boak Jr. said. The BOCES Teachers Association had to vote on the plan.
Although most districts turned in their original plans much earlier, Mr. Boak said, BOCES plans are more involved because they include testing and teacher evaluation plans for special-education classes.
Its a tremendous amount of work, he said. We calculated 690 hours of meetings just negotiating it with our teachers unions, time that could have been spent on other things.
He was not informed by the Education Department what is at stake if the plans are not approved on time, only that the state requires it to be turned in by the deadline.
There is no financial implication, but it is the law, Education Department spokesman Jonathan Burman said. We expect full compliance with the law.
Mr. Boak said he believes he will receive a call from the Education Department to review the plans and make corrections, if needed.
Now, were obviously working on the implementation because the new evaluation system starts this year, he said. It requires 20 percent of the evaluation to be based on students performance on state examinations and other tests.
The Carthage Central School District turned in its revised plans Friday, as well, but received final approval Monday morning. This means the district, operating under a nearly $60 million budget this year, will receive the extra $981,591 the state promised.
District Business Manager Amy M. Marrocco calculated the figure.
Because the approval is recent, it has not been added to the departments list of final approvals.
It was quick, but we had a great deal of interaction with SED over the phone and through email prior to approval, Superintendent Peter J. Turner said.
The states updated list of districts that have received approval for their teacher evaluation plans can be found at http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/teachers-leaders/plans/home.html.