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Buffalo school board mulls options to rehire laid off teachers

By Ashley Hassett

Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo School Board began discussing the option of rehiring over 100 teachers.

In a meeting held Monday night at City Hall, Board members said they will review the school years budget to see if re-hiring the teachers recently laid off is possible.

Many Board members said they would like to use the District's reserve funds to rehire the teachers.

But School Board President Louis Petrucci said the reserve fund cannot be used, because it may be needed in a pending lawsuit with the Buffalo Teachers Federation.

Petrucci said they need to explore other funding options.

"We are also exploring using some of the funding with respect to grants to try and refund some of these positions. We also do anticipate that there will be some decline in the student population, which means we won't need all the teachers. But ever effort is going to be made, hopefully with some consultation of the principals, every effort is going to be made in order to hopefully bring some of these people back," said Petrucci.

Buffalo Teachers Federation president Phil Rumore said the school board should use their reserve funds to hire back teachers.

"But the bottom line is this, we need more teachers not less. There should be no layoffs. The board has between $40 and $60 million in reserves. All they need to use is $6 million of that," said Rumore.

Petrucci said the board will discuss the rehiring issue further, along with the position of the interim superintendent during Wednesday's board meeting.