Regents chief orders extension for teacher evaluation

A top state education official says the deadline for new teacher evaluation plans is unrealistic and is directing the Education Department to give districts more time.

Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch wants the current Nov. 15 deadline for having plans approved by the state extended until Sept. 1, 2016, for districts unable to meet it.

Tisch said in a statement Wednesday that she's worried that districts - and students - could lose out on state aid tied to the reforms.

She has directed the state Education Department to administratively extend the deadline for districts facing hardships meeting it.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's counsel, Alphonso David, says the current law includes a hardship exemption, but says that should be the exception, not the rule.

"The law is clear that the additional state funding is linked to a teacher evaluation system, just like last year," David said in a statement. 

Some educators say in the end, it's the children who could suffer.

"Keeping back money is only going to hurt the kids," says Dr. William Johnson, Rockville Centre superintendent. "And at the heart of all this, and you see his advertisements on TV that it's all about the kids, if it is all about the kids then give us the money to support them."

Some members of the teachers union are welcoming the delay, saying they hope the additional time will allow for more changes.

Associated Press wire reports contributed to this article.

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