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City district threatens teacher layoffs

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

Buffalo school officials say 30-day layoff notices may go out as early as December 17, as the fight with the Buffalo Teachers Federation escalates.
After Friday, Schools Superintendent Pamela Brown says the district will have lost $26 million its fight with the union.

The latest dispute actually involves a different issue, involuntary transfer of teachers out of three academically-troubled schools, a move ruled out by an arbitrator but being challenged on appeal.

The union says it won't talk with the district on the different issue of teacher evaluations while the other issue remains unresolved. Albany and Washington require an evaluation system; Albany won't release money until there is an agreement.

"I'm really going to encourage everybody in the community," Superintendent Brown said.

"I'm going to encourage our teachers, our principals, assistant principals, parents, business leaders, everybody. I'm going to encourage you to call the BTF leadership and let them know how important it is that we continue to have these funds in our schools that we get the additional funding that we're eligible for."

Brown says there should be some hard numbers on potential layoffs should be determined following a committee meeting.

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.