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Buffalo school district, union agree to teacher evaluation plan

Union and district officials have come to an agreement on an evaluation plan for Buffalo school teachers. Buffalo Schools Superintendent Doctor Pamela Brown says the negotiations were completed late Tuesday night before the plan was sent to the State Education Department. The district needed to submit a plan to the State Education Department by Thursday to avoid forfeiting $33 million in state aid.

Buffalo Teachers Federation president Phil Rumore says the two sides were able to hammer out a deal on several sticking points.

Rumore tells WBFO News the union is hoping State Ed will give a final stamp of approval, but there could be issues with the plan.

"We were informed this morning that there was going to be a conference call with the district and the State Education Department because they felt that it looked pretty good, except they had some technical and procedural issues to deal with. We're just hopeful that this is not nitpicking," Rumore said.

Rumore says the two sides reached agreement on issues including counting absenteeism and English Language Learners following a similar format used by the Binghamton School District.

Rumore says if approved by the state, the plan must then come back to his union's council for approval.

"Once the state has approved the document,  I will brief the Council this Thursday. This weekend, then it will be emailed to all teachers. At the next Council of Delegates meeting, which is sometime in February, then there will be a vote of the Council of Delegates as to whether to approve it or not.

Superintendent Brown's statement as follows:  

I am extremely pleased to share with the community the fact that the BCSA, BTF and District have been able to reach an agreement on the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR).  The plan was submitted to the portal just before 9:00 last night, and the State Education Department is already in the process of reviewing it.

While we recognize this accomplishment, we look forward to feedback from NYSED, and we are hopeful to gain approval on this evaluation agreement at the earliest possible moment.  We are also appreciative of the willingness of NYSED members to be accessible and responsive to our request for an expedited review so close to the deadline.

This effort on everyone's part clearly demonstrates the commitment of the teachers, administrators, District staff members and NYSED in support of the children in all of the Buffalo Public Schools.