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Bloomberg Backs Cuomo On Teachers As Gov. Hits The Road To Sell His Budget

Gov. Andrew Cuomo - Yonkers, NY - Jan 18, 2012 (credit: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo – Yonkers, NY – Jan 18, 2012 (credit: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880)

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YONKERS, NY (CBSNewYork) - A day after Gov. Andrew Cuomo made his presentation, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is hailing Cuomo’s tough talk about teacher evaluations.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb With Mayor Bloomberg

“The governor has made it clear that he is determined to be a champion for our students, that he will not allow the teachers union to block new teacher evaluations systems across the state,” said Bloomberg in the Bronx on Wednesday.

The governor’s given the cities and the unions thirty days to agree on an evaluation system.

While the mayor claims to be optimistic, the United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew says what the city has proposed is a gotcha system.

“I never thought that calling, describing things in that kind of ways is productive,” replied Bloomberg.

The mayor followed that by saying it’s our job to decide who is going to be in the classroom.

Meanwhile, Cuomo was in Yonkers today trying to sell his budget, which includes a 401(k) option for public employees and a system to evaluate teachers.

WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane On The Story

Cuomo told a gathering of officials, administrators, a few union reps, and rank and file that principals, teachers, even school bus drivers, have Albany lobbyists, and he wants to be the one for students.

“This is a mission, my friends,” said Cuomo on Wednesday.

Referencing a legendary Washington mindset, he cast his ideas on education and pension reform as key parts of the changing of Albany culture.

“If the conversation is held within the beltway, within the loop, I lose. You lose,” he said.

Cuomo told reporters a billion dollars in federal funding is on the line if a teacher evaluation system remains only a suggestion.

“I understand the unions have concerns. I also understand that the students deserve it,” he said.

On pension reform, he stresses his proposal only applies to future state workers.

Barry McGoey of the Yonkers fire union hopes there’s room for a dialogue.

“You gonna have a terrible time when economy gets better, attracting qualified people into public service,” he said.

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