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Unions expected to fight additional charter schools

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Phil Rumore, the head of the Buffalo Teachers Federation, says charter schools and regular public schools shouldn't mix.  The union chief is reacting to the school board putting charter operators into the process for what happens to four schools Albany wants closed.

Led by Larry Quinn and Carl Paladino, the board on Tuesday added four charter people to the review panels for East, Lafayette, Bennett and Martin Luther King. They will join eight others looking at proposals for re-starting the buildings after they failed academically.

Both board members say members of school unions shouldn't be allowed to participate in the process, hard not to do since teachers and administrators belong to unions.

"I don't  know why you would want to have people that are not part of the Buffalo public schools that know what we need evaluating what is needed in the schools," Rumore said.

"Who knows more than the teachers, the principals and administrators in the buildings? It's absolutely bizarre."

Then, going after the charter supporters among board members, Rumore says it's not clear to him why they seem more concerned with charter schools than improving regular public schools and he says that's supposed to be what board members do.

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.