At-risk school funding tied to teacher evaluation agreement

Mar 6, 2012

With more than $9 million at risk, Buffalo's Board of Education is appealing to the teachers union for help. 

At a special meeting today, the School Board unanimously approved a resolution asking the Buffalo Teachers Federation Council of Delegates to reconsider removing the student attendance clause from its teacher evaluation plan.  Interim Superintendent Amber Dixon says state education officials won't accept a plan that excludes students with excessive absences. 

Dixon says the District will work with the union to try to address chronically absent students and attempt to make them more accountable. Dixon says she's optimistic the union will go along.

"I hope that what happens is that the teachers realize that this is a national education policy issue," Dixon said.   

"This really is a commitment to work together about what we value, and what we value is increased student achievement. This language is getting in the way of that."

The teacher evaluation plan relates only to six low-performing schools that were awarded federal improvement grants this year. If the funding is lost, Dixon says nearly 60 teachers will be cut mid-year.  The BTF leadership plans to discuss the attendance clause tomorrow. 

Buffalo was one of 10 school districts across New York that saw school improvement grants suspended in January because they failed to agree with unions on an evaluation system.