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Buffalo teachers: School year must start with remote learning only

Safely Back to School
Posted at 11:04 AM, Aug 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-14 17:18:24-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Buffalo Teachers Federation released a survey of teachers opinions on the school district's reopening plan. Of the more than 3,000 teachers who completed the study, an overwhelming majority stated the Buffalo Public Schools 2020 Reopening Plan does not provide a safe reopening for Buffalo students, parents and staff.

“You're talking about life or death here. It's not just for the individual person. It's for everybody in their area and surrounding area and their families,” said Phil Rumore, president of the Buffalo Teachers Federation, “If it were implemented the way it is, we would become a Texas or a Florida…If they go forward with a plan like this, we would be in court within two minutes after they passed it.”

86% of teachers responded to the survey. The results below:

  • 86.56% do not think the reopening plan provides for a safe reopening for students, parents and staff.
  • 82.08% do not support the reopening plan working draft submitted to the state July 31st
  • 13.65% think the reopening plan is a good start at developing a reopening plan
  • 71.95% do not support the hybrid schedule, which has students receiving in person instruction two days a week and remote instruction three days a week
  • 76.20% do not support the delineation of how school buildings will be sanitized during and after school
  • 90.24% do not support face masks being encouraged but not mandatory
  • 81.12% do not support the delineation of how health screenings will be conducted
  • 76.66% do not support the delineation of procedures to be followed once a person is possibly infected or found to be infected with the virus
  • 70.14% do not support how parents/staff will be notified of suspected/actual virus incidents
  • 83.22% do not support the delineation of how incidents of non-compliance with established health/safety protocols will be handled
  • 78.89% do not agree with the delineation of how many nurses will be assigned to each building
  • 60.39% do not support the delineation of how curriculum will be modified for virtual learning
  • 67.55% support that there be a delineation of how teachers' input will be sought, made known and incorporated into the reopening plan
  • 82.32% support a delineated process that will be used for the reopening plan to be adopted that includes a vote of the Board of Education, the District Reopening Committee, District Parent Organizations and Employee Unions

The BTF said, "The 'Plan' is no plan. It is a compilation of partial statements culminating in no delineated action/procedures."

“There should be a vote of the parent organizations that are sanctioned by the board, the board of education, any employer organizations that way you know that everybody's together,” Rumore said.

The BTF said the poses serious danger to children, parents, staff and the community.

The superintendent of Buffalo Public Schools, Dr. Kriner Cash, told 7 Eyewitness News he would not be comfortable send his grandchildren back to school.

“I’ve called for these meetings with the BTF. That's why I've said to their president and to whoever will respond, 'What should it look like? What do you think it should look like? It's your responsibility. You help us envision what a day in the life should look like,” Dr. Cash said.

The Buffalo Public School District released this statement in response to the survey:"As we continue our meetings with District parents and staff in the formation of a final District Reopening Plan, we will consider this Buffalo Teachers Federation survey as stakeholder input, which we value and have asked for throughout the planning process."