IRS forces Buffalo schools to fire "paid" parent facilitators

Posted at 10:03 AM, Oct 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-05 17:30:44-04

After an audit by the Internal Revenue Service, Buffalo Public School District can no longer pay its parent facilitators. 

The nearly 58 parent facilitators were made aware of the changes in late September. The men and women were used to bridge the gap between Buffalo Public Schools and the community/parents since 2008. They were paid $3,000 a year for their service. 

The school district listed them in their budget as consultants. In the IRS audit report, it said facilitators could no longer be considered as paid consultants. They have to be treated as employees of the district in order to get paid. 

The district now wants the facilitators to volunteer their service. 

“We need parents to help our children a long. It’s great to have multiple helping hands,” said Elena Cala, Special Assistant to the Superintendent for Public Relations. 

On Thursday, Buffalo District Parent Coordinating Council held a news conference calling for the restoration of paid parent facilitators in Buffalo Schools. 

“Right now is a critical time and we want that consistency for engaging parent. We don’t need to be taking a step back,” said Sam Radford, DPCC. 

Dr. Eric Rosser with Buffalo Public Schools said the district is working with the parents to find a solution. In the meantime, parents are welcomed to serve as volunteers.