Buffalo public schools to appeal suspended funds

Jan 5, 2012

The Buffalo public school district plans to appeal the suspension of $9-million from a state grant for school performance improvements.  Buffalo was among ten districts notified by Education Commissioner John King about the suspended funds. 

At issue is the implementation of teacher and principal evaluations as required as part of the grant program. Interim school superintendent Amber Dixon says the district and its administrator and teacher unions are in agreement, but their application to Albany reportedly lacked satisfactory language, as advised in a letter from Commissioner King received by Dixon's office on Tuesday.

"We (the district and unions) were both in clear understanding that we were going to implement this teacher and principal evaluation process per the state law, but apparently Commissioner King felt that the language wasn't clear enough for his purposes," said Dixon. "So what we're doing today is trying to clarify, with anybody at the State Education Department that we can get a hold of, just what language they're looking for."

Suspension of the grant jeopardizes $9-million for the Buffalo school district that would be used to assist its persistently low achieving schools.   The district must appeal within the next 30 days.