North Tonawanda schools look to increase ‘rigor’

May 19, 2015

The leader of the North Tonawanda City Schools is working to maintain spending, while looking to add more challenging work for students. Teachers have been working without a new contract for the last four years. WBFO's Focus on Education reporter Eileen Buckley sat down with Superintendent Greg Woytila, who is about to complete his fifth year as district leader, overseeing 3,700 students.

North Tonawanda City School District building.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

North Tonawanda City Schools Superintendent Greg Woytila.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

"North Tonawanda is unique.  We like to say it's a small town feel, but it is a small city," said Woytila. "Our needs have really come through budget constraints. We were hit hard with Gap Elimination Funds and we were lucky enough to get some of that funding back this year through the state budget"

Superintendent Woytila tells WBFO News his district is "maintaining," but he says they are not able to provide any extras for students like downstate districts. 

"Here, we are looking to sort of increase the rigor, looking to add more honors classes, just challenge the children," noted Woytila. "We need to have a wide variety of programs for all children."

City teachers have been working without a new contract agreement.  

North Tonawanda City Schools, Board of Education office.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

"We’re in our fourth year without a contract right now with our teachers," said Woytila, who adds health care and employee contributions remains a sticking point for union members.

"That is a big hurdle to get through," said Woytila.  "People need to understand too, that the teacher's job in the last five years has got to do more with less."