City Department of Education officials quietly gave back a $7.5 million state schools grant last week because they say they couldn’t reach a required deal with the teachers’ union.But oddly, the DOE admitted rescinding the grant after three months without even bothering to call the union to the negotiating table.
The so-called School Innovation Fund (SIF) grant program, for which districts across the state submitted competitive applications last summer, requires participating schools to put a new teacher evaluation system in place for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years.
It also requires that staffers be trained on the new system by July.
State Education Department officials said they were willing to let the city and United Federation of Teachers strike a limited deal on the evaluations that would cover just the three schools participating in the grant program.
Such a side-deal could likely be reached faster than waiting for the two sides to hammer out a broader city-wide evaluation system — which Gov. Cuomo has given them until January 2013 to do.