Buffalo School Board Calls Special Meeting

August 10, 2011 Updated Aug 10, 2011 at 8:11 AM EDT

By Lou Chilelli

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August 10, 2011 Updated Aug 10, 2011 at 8:11 AM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) -- Tuesday afternoon Buffalo School Board members will meet behind closed doors to discuss the future of superintendent Dr. James Williams. Williams has already announced that he will retire after the coming school year. Following a meeting in June, the board decided to keep Williams on for one more year. It appears that some on the board now believe that they have enough votes to oust the superintendent.

"Three board members filed a resolution on Friday. Two separate resolutions, to remove the superintendent from office. We will be discussing that tomorrow. Again, it's subject to a vote of the board," said Louis Petrucci, school board president.

The New York State Education Department released the results of this year's math and english state tests this week. Students in the City of Buffalo are more than 25 percentage points behind the state average in english and more than 32 points behind in math. Only 47 percent of the city's students graduate after four years of high school. "It's not where anybody wants to be. What we need is to set ourselves goals...which we are going to propose when we have our retreat on Thursday. And try and divide the problem over a few years and set small sustainable goals that we can meet every single year.," Petrucci added.

Last month school administrators announced the layoffs of 254 teachers and teacher aides. Funding losses and a drop in population are the cause. But, the board president is concerned about what the cuts will mean to class sizes and important programs. "The cuts were done...rose to the level of that they should have been reviewed by the board, first of all. But second, were contrary both to what our expressed wishes were when we prepared the budget...but also as to what the goals are for the district also," Petrucci said.

It's possible that a few of the teaching positions eliminated, could be restored right before the school year starts.