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I don't think it's unreasonable to say that seniority can't be the sole criterion.

Opposing bills for NYS "last in first out" teacher policy

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The push to change teacher hiring rules to end the policy of last hired first fired got a boost when Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced a bill to extend the proposal to all schools in the state. Karen DeWitt reports.

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Karen DeWitt
NYS Capitol Correspondent

The Senate passed a one house bill that would end what's known as LIFO, the last in first out policy for unionized teachers in New York City, something Mayor Mike Bloomberg has requested as a tool to better manage expected teacher lay-offs. Moments later, Governor Andrew Cuomo released his own bill, that would end LIFO in all schools in the state and institute a new teacher rating system for the 2011, 2012 school year.

"It is time to move beyond the so-called 'last in, first out' system of relying exclusively on seniority," Governor Cuomo said. "However, we need a legitimate evaluation system to rely upon. This will help make a statewide evaluation system ready and allow us to replace 'last in, first out.'"

Senate Education Committee Chair John Flanagan says he knows the bill will create "consternation and angst", but he is open to it.

"I don't think it's unreasonable to say that seniority can't be the sole criterion," Flanagan said.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said before Cuomo's bill was released that the teachers union and state education department are already working on a policy to replace LIFO as part of the requirements for receiving federal Race to the Top funding in time for the 2012-2013 school year.

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