Wed March 28, 2012
State Education Department rejects third deal for Buffalo schools
The fight over millions of dollars to help turn around the city's seven most troubled schools is becoming more tangled, with the State Education Department rejecting the third deal between the schools and the Buffalo Teachers Federation over principal and teacher evaluations.
The teachers union met Tuesday night only hours after the notice form Albany on the rejection of the school improvement grant.
"I equate this with a teacher going into a class and giving a test to the class on a lesson they haven't taught," said Phil Rumore, president of the BTF.
Rumore said Albany rejected provisions of the contract which it had approved in processing the earlier two-proposals.
According to Rumore, there are not written rules guiding unions and school districts on how to proceed, so now it's time for the lawyers to take over.
"We feel that the decision that the state, on the first, second and third, made to withhold the money, was a
arbitrary and capricious, and they have no right to do that," said Rumore
Rumore said teachers are very angry about Albany's actions. Two other districts, Yonkers and Roosevelt, were originally rejected by the state, but recently were approved for their School Improvement Grants.
"We are going to file an article 78 if indeed we can find some federal grounds, we may go into federal court because some of this is coming down form the federal government," said Rumore. "The state is the one now choosing...and depriving our students of the money."