NYS Teacher Center History
New York’s Teacher Resource and Computer Training Centers were established by the New York State Legislature in 1984 under Education Law 316. The initial appropriation of $3.5 million established 44 Teacher Centers throughout the State. The Legislature continued to approve Teacher Center funding through 2009-10, and the overall level of appropriations increased to $40 million, supporting 133 Teacher Centers, 6 Regional Networks, 5 Statewide Committees and 3 Statewide Projects.
In 2009-10 Teacher Centers were funded for the first time through a federal source, the ARRA Government Services fund, to allow Centers to continue providing professional development services throughout the State. An initial appropriation of $40 million for 2009-10 was reduced to $35 million in November 2009 as part of the State's deficit reduction plan.
In 2010-11, congruent with nationwide and state education funding shortages, no funding for NYS Teacher Centers has yet (as of Sept. 7, 2010) been appropriated. Most Teacher Center policy boards have determined they will continue to operate on a skeletal level or on the basis of fee-for-service. Many Centers are working closely with their host LEAs, and are seeking other sources of grants and funds, in order to continue providing critical professional development services.
Teacher Centers have led the integration of technology into curriculum and instruction in New York State. They have collaborated with teachers, districts, schools, institutions of higher education, and other education stakeholders, including several business agreements, to provide tens of thousands of professional development opportunities every year, many aligned with and/or directly supporting local school improvement goals.
Teacher Centers have also been, and continue to be, primary supporters and trainers of the development and implementation of New York’s Professional Development Plan requirement, CR 100.2(dd), and its alignment with the NYS Professional Development Standards. Centers support National Board Certification, participation by school teams in the National Writing Project, and provide coaching and mentoring services in support of NYSED’s Annual Professional Performance Review requirement.
All Teacher Center professional development offerings are developed after significant consultation with teachers, involving surveys of teacher needs, teacher development and presentation of programs, and teacher evaluation of the effectiveness of the professional development they have received.
In 2008-09, New York’s Teacher Centers served 650 public school districts, 36 BOCES, and 1,400 non-public and charter schools, including 179 high need schools/districts. Over 211 million school and BOCES staff were served by the 133 Centers.
Teacher Center 2009-10 Annual Report (available January 2011)
Link to NYSUT