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State Ed approves most Buffalo school grants, contingent on union agreement

The Buffalo Public Schools District received word from the State Education Department Thursday that it would approve improvement grants for six city schools.

The Education Department says it approved six of seven school improvement grants, but only if the district is able to reach agreement with on a teacher evolution plan with the Buffalo Teachers Federation by July 1.

"We are the adults in this city, every one of us, and the only people being hurt by this are the kids in this city," said interim Schools Superintendent Amber Dixon.

"At this point in time, maybe it's time to take a chance...that we can reach an agreement, we can work out the details and let the process of turning around these schools go forward."

Dixon said if an agreement with the BTF appears unlikely, she is prepared to submit an alternative turnaround plan to Albany.

Plans approved by the state education include the hiring of Johns Hopkins University to operate Layette High School. However, the state education commissioner said if the district fails to submit the signed evaluation plan by July 1, he would recommend to close the school. 

Dixon told reporters she tried unsuccessfully to reach Rumore on the phone this morning, but she said she will keep trying.