Teachers union leader wants one-year extension for B.U.I.L.D. Academy

Dec 7, 2017

The leader of the Buffalo teachers union is ready to fight against an outside receiver taking over B.U.I.L.D. Academy. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley has the story. 

"What happened at B.U.I.L.D. Academy is wrong. B.U.I.L.D. Academy was supposed to get funding from the state and it was delayed for a year,” remarked Phil Rumore, president of Buffalo Teachers Federation President.

Phil Rumore, president of Buffalo Teachers Federation President.
Credit WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

Rumore telling WBFO News he wants to call on New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia to delay putting an outside receiver in place to operate B.U.I.L.D. Academy. Rumore points out the state delayed funding to help turnaround the low performing school.

“So we are saying right now – is look at you delayed the funding to help turn the school around for a year – we should get an extension, so what we’re going to is we are going to get some parents together, some teachers together and ask the commissioner for an extension for year. If the commissioner does not give an extension we are going to have to be prepared to go to court,” Rumore explained.

"The state itself does not have anyone that they’ve identified as qualified to turnaround the school, so they have no receivers in the pipeline,” remarked Barbara Seals Nevergold, Buffalo School Board President.

Seals Nevergold tells us might be “too late” to engage the school board into asking the education department for a delay.   

Barbara Seals Nevergold, Buffalo School Board President.
Credit WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

“I believe that the commissioner did receive from the board, at least from the superintendent, the feelings of the board – the majority of board members that the identification of B.U.I.L.D. of having to go to an outside receiver is something we are not pleased with,” responded Seals Nevergold.

The district is already seeking applications for an independent receiver and must be returned by December 19th so a receiver can be put into place for January.  Seals Nevergold is not sure anyone has responded.

“It’s just a difficult period to try to elicit, I think, serious applications,” replied Seal Nevergold. 

B.U.I.L.D. Academy remains in receivership as a 'priority' school for underperforming. State assessments scores in English and Math remain very low.

Rumore tells us he expects to have a letter to the education commissioner drafted by the end of this week and then call on the school board to vote on it.