BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The Buffalo School Board voted to terminate the contract with the consulting firm that orchestrated the massive reorganization of the district's central office.
Buffalo School Board Member Jim Sampson said, “Our original contract and our relationship with them was unclear and vague, not accountable. We didn't know what we were getting for the excess of $400,000 dollars a year.”
Dr. Mary Guinn, with that consulting firm of Cross and Jostus, had been the center of controversy. Critics saying she was, in essence running the district and overstepping her boundaries as a consultant.
Buffalo School Board Member Carl Paladino said, “In fact she's been the de facto superintendent for approximately six months, propping up Dr. Brown, in just about every effort's that been done.”
The criticism got so intense that the consulting firm Guinn works for asked to have the contract terminated.
Cross & Joftus Consulting Firm President Scott Joftus said, “We feel like we've become the story and that makes it difficult for meaningful work to get done.”
But Superintendent Brown wants Dr. Guinn to stay during a transition period of up to three months.
Buffalo School Superintendent Dr. Pamela Brown said, “The decision that was made by the board tonight gives me the opportunity to have further discussion about whether she will continue with the district at least for a period of time.”
While this was a setback for Superintendent Brown, the board approved some high-level administrative appointments she made, which had been on legally shaky ground. By approving these positions, the board allows the district reorganization plan to continue.
Brown said, “It's critical that we have the individuals in place that we need in order to move this district forward.”
Sampson said, “If we had not approved those reappointments, the reorganization plan would have, I think fallen apart, and I don't think this district is in a position where they need that kind of chaos.”
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