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Teacher layoff by merit hits roadblock in Albany

ALBANY — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s attempt to allow teacher layoffs based on merit rather than seniority has been shelved in the Assembly hours after it advanced in the state Senate.

The bill would end the so-called first-in, last-out policy statewide in which promising young teachers would face layoffs before longtime teachers with poor records.

The bill, supported by the Senate’s Republican majority, advanced from the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday.

But hours later, Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said the Assembly isn’t touching the bill.

Instead, the Manhattan Democrat says his chamber is letting the state Board of Regents create a teacher evaluation system that could be used in determining layoffs by the September semester.

Both chambers would have to approve the bill.