Governor Cuomo and the State Education Department are saying a side deal between the Buffalo school district and the Buffalo Teachers Federation regarding teacher evaluations is illegal and should be blocked. The union is going to court to uphold the deal.
The Buffalo School District plans to scrap its memorandum of understanding on teacher evaluations. In a written statement, Superintendent Dr. Pamela Brown says the State Education Department determined the MOU between the district and the Buffalo Teachers Federation is void.
Buffalo schools are committing to a long court fight with the Buffalo Teachers Federation over involuntary transfers of 54 teachers out of three of the city's academically worst schools.
After a closed-door session with lawyers, the board says it will appeal an arbitrator's ruling the district violated the union contract in the way it chose teachers to be transferred out of Schools 33, 37 and 59.
The arbitrator ordered them sent back to the schools.
A lawsuit filed by the Buffalo Teachers Federation will have representatives from the union and the Buffalo school district in court this week.
Turnaround plans for three underperforming schools, Bilingual Center 33, Futures Academy and Drew Science Magnet, call for transferring teachers at those schools. BTF president Philip Rumore claims this move violates a collective bargaining agreement. The state has designated more than $5 million to assist those schools.
Rumore hopes a judge will halt the transfers and allow for arbitration to resolve the issue.