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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Thursday is the deadline for the New York City teachers union and the Bloomberg administration to reach an agreement on methods for teacher evaluation if the city was to keep $250 million in state education funding and as much as $200 million in grants. Negotiations broke down early Thursday, however. According to United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew:
It is particularly painful to make this announcement because last night our negotiators had reached agreement—but Mayor Bloomberg blew the deal up in the early hours today, and despite the involvement of state officials we could not put it back together.
Obviously, given the amount of money at stake, Mulgrew has incentive to blame the breakdown of negotiations on Bloomberg, and Bloomberg has in turn blamed the union, saying its goals kept shifting. However, Gotham Schools' Philissa Cramer suggests that "Bloomberg had the least to lose by letting a deal die, and one major upside: He would get new ammunition to attack the UFT." Bloomberg is certainly taking advantage of that right out of the gate. Then again, Bloomberg already compared UFT leadership to the NRA over this issue, so it's not like he'd been short of insults to hurl.

After Mulgrew and Bloomberg announced the failure of negotiations, state education officials continued stressing that there's still time for a deal to come on Thursday, though Gov. Andrew Cuomo says no extensions will be granted beyond Thursday.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 02:35 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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