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24 million in school aid could be at risk for city schools

By Eileen Buckley & Ashley Hassett

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-976718.mp3

Buffalo, NY – $24 million in Federal aid would be lost if the Buffalo Board of Education fails to agree upon turn-around models for all of the district's poorest performing schools.

Leaders the Parent Coordinating Council were outraged that plans were submitted for just three of the seven schools identified as persistently low achieving.

"What we just witnessed is this district's sell out to the teacher's union. We just victimized a generation of children," said Sam Radford, group's vice-president

Radford said the teacher's union has intentionally delayed plans to replace the principals and half the staff at those schools.

"The Buffalo Teachers Federation took the position that they wanted all EPO's independent of the District's recommendation to move half the teachers and half the principals, and absolutely refuse to compromise, refuse to negotiate, so we are not going to apply for funds to turn around schools for children so we can satisfy the Buffalo Teachers Federation," said Radford.

Teacher's union President Phil Rumore responded by saying that the idea of playing musical chairs with the faculty wouldn't do any good.

"Moving 200 teachers around playing musical chairs for teachers in schools isn't going to improve the education of our kids. It is money wasted. Working with an EPO or an outside agency, like Buff State, UB or some of the other universities that's how you will improve education because you will be thinking outside the box," said Rumore.

Schools Superintendent James Williams denies the Parenting group's statement. He says the other four schools won't be left out in the future.

"No it delayed the money, you didn't forfeit. Money is not the solution. It is how we spend the money,"" said Williams.

Mayor Byron Brown called the second emergency Stakeholders meeting for Buffalo Public Schools Thursday.

Mayor says he is concerned that partnerships have not been identified for the other four low achieving schools.

"The primary stakeholders for public education have to continue to work together to come up with ways to make the schools function better. Increase academic achievement, to reduce drop-out rates and to make sure that every school building in the buffalo public school system is a place of excellence," said Mayor Brown.

The EPO model is being proposed to the State Education Department this month. If this plan is accepted millions of dollars in grant money could be given to aid the low achieving Buffalo public schools.