Kaleida Health has lost its nursing services contract with Buffalo Public Schools, much to the dismay of vocal nurses and parents who shared their concerns at a heated, three-hours-long Buffalo Public Schools Board of Education meeting Wednesday night.
After hearing dozens of Kaleida supporters urge the District to keep Kaleida registered nurses in the schools, Board members voted unanimously to award the contract to Sun Belt Staffing and Supplemental Health Care. Three Board members abstained, and one recused.
For years, Kaleida Health has held the nursing contract with BPS. The District's Request for Proposal for the next contract was due in January, but Kaleida's bid was delivered late. In addition, its late submission was unsealed, which is a violation of the bidding process.
Kaleida supporters wanted the District to forgive the late RFP delivery, and fear students will lose out on premier healthcare if Kaleida nurses do not stay in Buffalo schools. They wanted the School Board to restart the RFP process.
BPS Superintendent Kriner Cash told those in the crowd that Kaleida should have submitted properly and on time if the healthcare provider had its priorities focused on the students.
The new contract with Supplemental Health Care and Sun Belt Staffing is expected to cost the School District one million dollars less than Kaleida.
A rally was held ahead of the Wednesday night meeting, where many parents and nurses voiced their concerns on the steps of City Hall.