They've had two years to reach an agreement: but now they're down to two days. The powerful New York state teachers union is negotiating with officials at the State Education Department over a teacher evaluation system.
Among those watching with great interest is Governor Cuomo, who has his own system to impose if the negotiations fail.
The legislature passed and the governor signed a law in 2010 that contemplated teacher evaluations in exchange for federal race to the top money.
But in the two years since the teachers union and the educational bureaucracy have been unable to work out specifics.
When asked Tuesday about the state of negotiations with the Thursday deadline fast approaching, the governor's point man would offer only generalities.
“All the parties have been working very hard. I think all the meetings and conversations,” said Larry Schwartz, secretary to the governor.
In order to qualify for federal money, states were required to install a teacher evaluation system using student test scores.
The New York Teachers Union agreed to a system where student performance counted for 20 percent, the State Education Department pushed for 40 percent. That's been one of the big hurdles in the negotiations, but apparently not the only one.