With Buffalo developer Carl Paladino officially in the race for the Buffalo Board of Education, the war of words has started between the former gubernatorial candidate and Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore.
Buffalo Board of Education members were told Wednesday there will be an attempt to unseat those seeking another term. They were also told the proposed state budget does little for the continuing fiscal problem.
Under some pressure from State Education Commissioner John King, the Buffalo school board is moving ahead to redistrict in time for the board election next spring.
While the final decisions will be made by the board, there is an advisory group drawing lines headed by Board Member Ralph Hernandez.
The final shapes for the six districts must meet all of the regular rules on compactness and equality of population among them. That is despite the lines being drawn based on the most-recent Census figures from 2010.
A proposal to turn two of the city's most-academically-troubled schools into charter schools met strong opposition at last night's school board meeting.
A group of veteran charter school proponents has filed with the State Education Department to take over East High and Waterfront, dropping union contracts and adding longer school days and longer school years.
They expect to take over the buildings on which the Joint Schools Construction Board has spent tens of millions of dollars in renovations.
Buffalo schools now have a state-designated "distinguished educator."
While Judy Elliott is a Buffalo native, no one at the top of the school system admits to knowing her and it's not clear why Albany chose her for the new post.
Under a contract agreed to last night, Elliott will be paid $190-per-hour when working on school business and $275-per-day in expenses; she agreed to work 25 days a year while working with other school systems from her Florida base.
The appointment is not popular with board members.
Former gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino wants to stall the appointment of Pamela Brown as Buffalo schools superintendent.
Paladino is due in State Supreme Court tomorrow in his fight to open up the closed-door executive sessions used to select the new superintendent.
The board is still holding closed meetings to talk about details of the proposed pact, with lawyers from both sides bargaining the contract under which Brown would work, from pay to evaluation provisions.
The school board is slated to approve Brown's contract at a late-afternoon meeting tomorrow.
Late Friday afternoon, members of Buffalo's Board of Education responded to accusations from Buffalo developer Carl Paladino asserting the board violated the state's open meetings law by convening in closed-door executive sessions when it chose Dr. Pamela Brown to be the district's new superintendent.
Paladino, a frequent critic of the board, has filed papers in State Supreme Court seeking to block Brown's hiring, as well as her transitional contract that pays her a consulting fee of $800 a day.
The Buffalo school board says it's close to picking a new superintendent but making the choice isn't the only issue.
While the school system and the BTF have been locked in talks for months over how to evaluate teachers, board members are now trying to figure how to evaluate the new superintendent in an employment contract.
Executive Affairs Vice President Rosalyn Taylor says the evaluation criteria include district issues like the dismal high school graduation rate.
The school board made it official yesterday, Interim Superintendent Amber Dixon is one of three finalists for the post left vacant when James Williams retired in September.
The others named and listed with their credentials are Edward Newsome, an assistant superintendent for high schools in Baltimore County Public Schools, and Pamela Brown, former assistant superintendent and chief academic officer for Philadelphia.
The proposal sent to Albany called for teachers not to be judged on students who had missed seven weeks or more and there are a lot of those students.
The plan was kicked back by Albany and the school board was told $9 million wouldn't be headed this way, half this school year and half next to help turn around seven Persistently Low-Achieving (PLA) schools.
The school board has already budgeted and spent some of the money preparing to start turnaround plans for the schools and may have to lay off teachers and administrators to make up for the money.