Laid Off Buffalo School Teachers Remain in Limbo

August 22, 2011 Updated Aug 22, 2011 at 11:33 PM EDT

By John Borsa

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August 22, 2011 Updated Aug 22, 2011 at 11:33 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - The Buffalo Board of Education met Monday night in special session hoping to find a way to save the jobs of 104 teachers and almost 150 teacher aides.

After meeting for several hours, including one in executive session, board members emerged without a solid plan to bring the teachers back before the start of school next month.

"It has to be done on Wednesday," said union president Phil Rumore. "Because a lot of the teachers are getting jobs other places."

The district needs to find $5 million to bring the employees back. That much, and more, exists in reserve funds.

"Now it's up to the board to dip into that reserve fund, because that's what it's there for," Rumore said.

Board member Ralph Hernandez agrees.

"We've got plenty of money," he said.

But some members are looking to teachers to give up a perk to help save the jobs of their colleagues.

If teachers voluntarily suspend the cosmetic rider in their contract, which gives them insurance-paid access to face lifts, hair transplants and cosmetic injections, the laid off teachers can be brought back.

"It's like a parent who has a family and the daughter needs to go to the doctor. And they have a big tremendous savings account. But then they go to the kids and say I want you to sell your bicycles," Rumore said.

Superintendent James Williams, who will retire next month, said he will meet with his finance staff this week and update board members on Wednesday.