Buffalo Teachers Union Will Sue NYSED

May 9, 2013 Updated May 9, 2013 at 11:44 PM EDT

By Kendra Eaglin

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May 9, 2013 Updated May 9, 2013 at 11:44 PM EDT


Buffalo, NY
(WKBW)

The Buffalo Teachers Federation says it is not backing down. It is refusing to have its evaluations based on student performance. And aside from the possible funding loss it looks as if the district's 34,000 students will pay the biggest price.

Thursday the executive committee of the Buffalo Teachers Federation voted to go to court.

It's all over the new teacher evaluation system, linked to the district securing more than $40 million in state funding.

The state is requiring those performance reviews be used in firing decisions. But the union says no way. Mainly because a percentage of those evaluations are based on student performance and the union claims the new evaluation system can't be trusted.

"It's not fair to put a teacher's job in jeopardy based on an evaluation system that nobody's tested before and no one knows how it's going to work," said Phil Rumore, Buffalo Teachers Federation President.

Park District school board member elect Carl Paladino agrees the evaluation system should be handled locally.

However, he says he is against the side deal Rumore struck with Superintendent Pamela Brown. The two drew up a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that teachers can't be fired over evaluations.

The MOU goes directly against the state

Paladino says Brown and board president Ruth Kapsiak let Rumore bully them.

All he's (Rumore) doing is what Phil Rumore has been good at doing all these years and that is creating more chaos in the Buffalo school system. These two people, the superintendent and the president of the board of education conspired with him," said Paladino.

The teachers union says it will fight to save the MOU. It has already filed a number of grievances regarding the situation and plans to file a notice of claim by June 1st to start is legal suit.