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State Education Department voids teacher evaluation side deal

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The State Education Department has voided a January memorandum of understanding between the Buffalo school district and its teachers union on evaluations.  This, after word surfaced earlier this week that the district had promised the union it would not use evaluations in any teacher termination proceedings.  In a statement released Thursday evening, Schools Superintendent Pamela Brown said her office has assured state education officials that the district is prepared to follow all regulations regarding teacher evaluations.  At risk are millions of dollars in aid if the district fails to do so.

"We will continue to work with our teachers and administrators and their unions to implement our approved evaluation procedures in full compliance with applicable requirements of the state law and regulation," Brown said.

Thursday's statement comes several days after Governor Andrew Cuomo harshly criticized the side deal on WBFO's "Capitol Pressroom."  He said it was on a "line of being fraud."

Buffalo Teachers Federation President Philip Rumore responded the union believes it has a valid agreement with the district over teacher evaluations.  He told the Buffalo News that he is prepared to take any necessary actions to  enforce the agreement the union reached with the district.