8:00 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Superintendent Brown says she won't accept buyout

Buffalo Schools Superintendent Pamela Brown says she will not accept a reported $500,000 buyout offer to vacate her post as the leader of the city school district.

Brown held a news conference at City Hall Monday afternoon to respond to the offer, which surfaced over the weekend. The buyout was reportedly put together by a group of community leaders, including businessman Robert Gioia.

Superintendent Pamela Brown addresses the media regarding buyout offer.
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO News

Brown called the offer "counterproductive" and said she never considered accepting it.

"In my year-and-a-half as superintendent, I have made much headway toward student success and overall management of the district and we are showing signs of progress. Those who would turn a blind eye to the obvious achievements of the district under my tenure are not only working to mislead the public, but do the damage of branding the district and all those in it as failures, which is certainly not the case," said Brown.

Brown said she agrees with the opinion of Regent Robert Bennett and Legislator Betty Jean Grant that only the Buffalo Board of Education should decide if she stays in her post. She says the district is on the rise and it has acted in a manner that is fiscally responsible to the public.

"Under my superintendentism, we have raised graduation rates, lowered severe absenteeism, and suspension rates, and worked to keep those students who need it most in school in the summer and through extended days. I will stay and I will stay the course. I would caution against those that would deny and undermine that fact,” said Brown.

Brown also pointed to the fact that 49 of 53 schools in the district have been rated “effective” or “highly effective.” She says she is committed to her goal of providing children with a world-class education, and people who don't share that same goal should not stand in the way.

School Board President Dr. Barbara Seals-Nevergold joined Brown as she addressed reporters. She says the buyout offer was insulting and she says it speaks to an underestimation of Superintendent Brown's skills.

“There’s an ignorance of the success and the progress that are made in the district. We just don’t get enough attention to the changes that have been made incrementally over the last 18 months,” said Seals-Nevergold.