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On Special Education and Teacher Evaluations From Governor Cuomo

Thu, 06/11/2020 - 13:36
The East Hampton School District administration building.
Carissa Katz

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has signed executive orders allowing schools to resume providing special education services in person over the summer and waiving the annual statewide teacher performance evaluations. For special education, schools can choose to “opt in,” and the East Hampton School District is among those that are investigating its potential.

“We’re trying to figure out what we can do. It’s under strong consideration,” Richard Burns, the district superintendent, said this week. “The one part I don’t like is the liability issue wasn’t really spoken to in the executive order. If someone has Covid-19 and they come here, are we held responsible? There’s some nuances we have to iron out, but I would love to do it for the kids.”

Normally, teachers and principals receive job evaluations once per year, and state education law allows money for schools to be withheld if those evaluations are not completed. But Governor Cuomo’s recent order says evaluations can be skipped this year “without withholding any apportionment of funds for the general support of public schools.”



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