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Layoffs issued to dozens of Buffalo teachers

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With the opening of school only weeks away, at least 63 Buffalo teachers have received layoff notices.

Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore says he knows of 63 contract and probationary teachers who have received layoff notices. He says those are jobs within union jurisdiction and there are more among teachers who are not tenure-track, although he isn't sure how many.

The union president says the district had indicated there would be layoffs in Special Education, but these layoffs are across the board.

"The only thing that's really horrendous about this is that: Here we are, sending layoff notices out at the end of the summer when it's too late for them to get other teaching jobs. It's almost like that's inhumane," Rumore said.

Rumore says some of the laid-off teachers may wind up back on the payroll through federal programs. He says what's worse is that many teachers don't know who they will be working for because there are apparently major changes in principal assignments. 

The school board meets on Wednesday and the layoffs and the principal shifts are expected to get major attention.

Friday afternoon the city school district released a break down of the layoffs. They are as follows:

Guidance – 4

ELA – 12

Math – 12

Science – 10

Social Studies – 11

Reading – 10

Art – 2

Hearing Impaired – 2

The District says the "layoffs were carefully considered as part of right-sizing the teaching staff to the student population, while working within the 2014-15 approved budget."

The District also noted that some of the layoffs are due to the move of School #115 to Harvey Austin #97, and the elimination of a 9th grade class at Bennett High School for the 2014-15 school year.

"As always, it is the district’s intent to maintain quality of the classroom while working with the talent pool within our approved budget."


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.