Buffalo, NY -- The start of the new school year next week will bring some changes in the school day for some students and teachers in the Buffalo School District. But the teacher's union may go to court to challenge that move made by the superintendent and now backed by the state.
The school day at the D'Youville-Porter and Lydia T. Wright schools will kick off an hour later at 9:00 AM. While it's a ten minute earlier start at 7:50 for the Charles R. Drew Magnet School, that's under the plan unveiled in April from Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash to upgrade performance under the so-called receivership policy which allows changes at struggling schools.
And it's no surprise to most that the state education commissioner now formally backs the plan. Cash says: "We want to make sure that our schools...our start times and even the way we deliver our quality teaching and learning is in line with the latest research."
Perhaps also no surprise: the teacher's union, which did accept a 25 minute increase on the length of the school day, may legally challenge the changing times. BTF President Phil Rumore says: "We worked with them for like two months...they decided no...why should we negotiate with you. We're gonna shove it down your throats."
Cash responds: "I could see that it really wasn't gonna happen so we needed it to make it happen."
Cash also dismissed a union claim that the district is trying to save money to pay for more buses and drivers with the school day changes.
But could there be disruptions stemming from this disagreement?.
Rumore points out: "We have actually some petitions from some of the parents that at School 3, for example, and two of the schools saying that this is disrupting their lives as it is now."
However Cash says: "We're going to be supportive and help parents adjust by providing some support for those who say they have to drop their child off earlier...we'll have some staff available for that."
Cash hints there could be more changes as he tries to update district policies.