Buffalo Teachers’ Federation calls for removal of district administrators in charge of “reopening committee”, citing secrecy

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(WIVB) – The Buffalo Teachers’ Federation is calling for the removal of district administrators in charge of the Buffalo Public School District’s reopening committee.

According to a press release from the union on Thursday, the school district has been secretive about its reopening plans, first labeling them “confidential” and then reusing to allow district stakeholder s and the public see them two days before they were supposed to be submitted to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“Unfortunately, Mr. Rumore is very premature in his criticism,” said Dr. Darren brown-Hall, chief of staff for Buffalo Schools. He said the reopening process involved stakeholders at many levels including teachers, and he thought it would be best to develop a final document to post on the website Friday. “We didn’t want to simply put out information all the time because we didn’t want to cause confusion.”

The BTF alleges that the committee has only held six meetings since early June, none of them lasting over two hours, and that the presentations made by the district were oral and no documents were distributed.

The union also alleges that eight new subcommittees were established on July 27 and none of them have met yet, and that school engineers were not asked to participate on the reopening committee.

“This District’s secrecy, lack of involvement of stakeholders and lack of time devoted to develop
a safe reopening plan for our schools that will, if done incorrectly, result in the loss of lives or
severe physical injury, as well as undermining the education of our students, is a betrayal of
trust and its responsibilities to our community,” BTF President, Philip Rumore, stated in the press release. “The BTF therefore calls for the removal of District administrator(s) in charge of the District’s Reopening Committee, the ending of secrecy, the real involvement of stakeholders and a
State investigation of District’s procedures.”

Still, the process has been open to input according to Dr. Brown-Hall. “In the letter I sent Phil I said, ‘If you have any question call me, send me an email. So the lines of communication are open if he chooses to utilize them.”

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