Fri June 24, 2011
Buffalo School Board pushes for early termination of Superintendent's contract
By Joyce Kryszak
Buffalo, NY – An effort by the Buffalo School District Board to unseat Superintendent James Williams earlier than next June is drawing concern from the District's parent group.
A special session was called for Wednesday at noon to discuss terminating William's contract early. But the meeting was suddenly called off. The Board did discuss an unspecified personnel matter in closed door session at its regular meeting that night.
Sam Radford is with the District Parent Coordinating Council. He said there appears to be no plan for replacing Williams if the board opts to terminate his contract before June 30, 2012 as previously agreed.
"You already bought out the Deputy Superintendent, if you're going to hacve conversations about buying out the Superintendent - especially after he made it clear that that's not what he wants, and he's willing to retire at the end of next year and that gives you time to find a suitable replacement - it seems like that is a process that gets us where we want to go, but if we're going to do something different fromthat, at least give us an indication what you're thinking about," said Radford.
Radford said there also does not appear to be any prospective interim who could step in immediately. If a search is rushed, Radford says they're concerned the board will not honor promises to include parents in the process.
"Now that we're talking about ramping up that time frame...I'm not sure about how we can be involved in a meaningful way, because we have not been involved in any discuissions about why we'd want Dr. Williams to take a bow right now," said Radford.
Williams and Board members contacted by WBFO did not return requests for comment. However, at a Buffalo Schools event Thursday, Buffalo Common Council member Reverend Darius Pridgen talked about his own concerns for the future leadership of the school district.
"What's going to happen after he leaves...what remains is that we need great leaders in the Buffalo Public School System to move forward," said Pridgen.
If terminated early, Williams would be entitled to six months pay, or about $110,000.