Buffalo Schools Supt. Warns of Possible Layoffs

6:53 PM, Nov 29, 2012   |    comments
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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Buffalo's new superintendent of schools warned of possible layoffs if an agreement isn't in place soon regarding teacher evaluations.

Dr. Pamela Brown said, after this coming Friday, the district will have already missed out on around $26 million in funds because it does not have an Annual Professional Performance Review agreement in place with the Buffalo Teachers Federation (BTF).

If an agreement isn't reached by mid-January, the district will miss out on another $33 million.

"This is a community issue," Dr. Brown said at Wednesday night's school board meeting. "This affects so many people."

An APPR agreement is required for the district to receive certain funding from the state and federal governments.

For the first time Wednesday, Dr. Brown warned of layoffs, describing that as a worst-case scenario.

"There's no way that we can anticipate this kind of loss in our budget without thinking that we have to look to potential layoffs of our staff, and that is the last thing that I want to think of at this point in time," Dr. Brown said.

If layoffs are needed, the district would have to send out notices by December 17.

2 On Your Side reached BTF President Phil Rumore by phone as he was on a business trip on the West Coast. He said that while there are no current negotiations taking place, he is "looking at options that might work." He blamed the district for "delaying tactics."

Getting an agreement on the teacher evaluations has been an ongoing problem for the district and union. The BTF has previously rejected plans that would evaluate students based on standardized test scores from students with poor attendance. Students with English as a Second Language, or ESL students, being factored in has also been a concern.

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