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Superintendent Brown warns of teacher layoffs

WBFO News photo by Mike Desmond

The continuing struggle between Buffalo schools and the Buffalo Teachers Federation heated up again last night, with talk of layoffs and cuts because of potential cuts in state funding.

After the months spent in the last school year in a fight over teacher evaluations, the district stands to lose nearly $59 million in this year's fight over evaluations.  

Buffalo Schools Superintendent Pamela Brown says Albany has stopped sending millions of dollars until there is an agreement with the BTF over the evaluations and the union won't bargain because of a fight over another issue.

That's the involuntary transfer of teachers out of three of the city's academically-worst schools where the union has won an arbitration decision that's a violation of the contract.

The district is appealling and the union says it won't come back to the bargaining table because of the appeal.

Brown says millions of dollars are at stake.

"In light of that resolution not to negotiate with us, $33.4 million in general fund operating aid and $25.3 million in grants dedicated to our lowest-performing schools and turnaround effort will be lost."

Credit WBFO News photo by Mike Desmond
Citizens at Wednesday evenings Buffalo School Board meeting at City Hall

The district is wedged between cash suppliers in Albany and Washington and terms of a union contract that's effectively 13-years old.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.