Buffalo Teachers Federation says majority of teachers reject reopening plan

Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–According to the Buffalo Teachers Federation, a majority of teachers are rejecting the Buffalo Public Schools 2020-2021 Reopening Plan.

On Monday, the BTF released the results of a survey, completed between August 6 and August 9, of Buffalo teachers’ opinions of the district’s reopening plan.

The BTF says only Buffalo teachers could complete the survey as it was only sent to their personal email accounts. 

Here are some of the findings of the survey by the numbers:

  • 3,155 Teachers completed the survey. BTF has email addresses of 3653 teachers, therefore, 86% of teachers responded. 
  • 86.56% DO NOT think the “Buffalo Public Schools 2020 Reopening Plan” provides for a safe reopening for Buffalo students, parents, and staff. 
  • 82.08% DO NOT support the “Buffalo Public Schools 2020-2021 Reopening Plan” “Working Draft” submitted to New York State on July 31, 2020. 
  • 13.65% Think the “Buffalo Public Schools 2020-2021 Reopening Plan” is a good start at developing a reopening plan. 
  • 71.95% DO NOT support the two (2) day/three (3) day hybrid rotation schedule. 
  • 76.20% DO NOT support the delineation of how school buildings will be sanitized during and after schools. 
  • 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.

According to the survey, 67.55% did support that there be a portrayal of how teachers’ input will be sought, made known, and incorporated into the reopening plan to be adopted.

There’s also support, 82.32%, that an outline process will be used for the reopening plan, which includes a vote of the Board of Education, the District Reopening Committee, District Parent Organizations, and Employee Unions, the BTF says.

In a release, Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore says: 

“The results of the survey of Buffalo teachers is cause for great concern for parents, students and our community. The ‘Plan’ is no plan. It is a compilation of partial statements culminating in no delineated action/procedures. As such, it poses a serious danger to the safety, health and well-being of our children, parents, school staff, community as well as to the education of our students. That this ‘Plan’, unlike in other communities, was withheld from the District Reopening Committee, parents, school staff and the community, is a symptom of callous indifference. This is not a dictatorship. Parents, school staff and the community must have accepted input into the development of and a vote on the adoption of any school re-opening plan.”

Troy Licastro is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2018. See more of his work here.

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