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Assembly Blocks Bill To End 'Last In, First Out' Teacher Layoff Rule (VIDEO)

Last In First Out

First Posted: 03/02/11 09:40 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:35 PM ET

Mayor Bloomberg's dreams of ending the "last in, first out" rule for laying off teachers appear to be crushed.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said his chamber would not consider a bill that would immediately end the teacher layoff rule, which requires that less experienced teachers are laid off first, before long-time educators (as opposed to on 'merit', which is what Bloomberg is fighting for).

The bill made it through the Republican controlled state Senate, but stalled in the Assembly, which is majority Democrat.

Adding to Bloomberg's woes, the mayor now finds himself at odds with Governor Cuomo on the issue.

Though Cuomo had indicated that he supported ending the "last in, first out" rule, the governor favors a slower approach to scrapping the policy.

The mayor's office said Cuomo prefers a plan that would allow the teachers' union to sign off on an evaluation system. School districts would have to show two years of ineffective ratings before a teacher could be cut based on performance.

"It is time to move beyond the so-called 'last-in, first-out' system of relying exclusively on seniority," Cuomo said. "However, we need a legitimate evaluation system to rely upon."

Bloomberg was blindsided by Cuomo's more cautious approach.

"We need the governor to help us now by putting something in this budget by Thursday that lets us not have to use seniority when it comes to laying off teachers," Bloomberg said.

Opponents of the rule argue that the most effective teachers should be the ones allowed to keep their jobs, regardless of age or experience.

The state AFL-CIO and other backers of the policy argue that the rule guards against teachers being fired for arbitrary reasons by administrators. They also note that supposedly objective criteria to base teacher performance on, like test scores, are unreliable.

Bloomberg has said Cuomo's budget proposal will require him to cut more than 6,000 teachers through layoffs and attrition.

WATCH NBC New York's coverage of the mayor's stinging defeat.

View more videos at: http://www.nbcnewyork.com.

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Filed by Simon McCormack  |