BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–Buffalo City School officials are moving forward with reopening plans for this fall, but if the teacher’s union doesn’t agree with those plans, the classrooms could remain closed.
On Monday, the Buffalo City School District held its first of five meetings required by the state to go over reopening plans with parents.
“Working together, let’s figure it out, how we can improve education – particularly public education – for the families we serve better than we ever have before,” Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash said.
He laid out expectations for this fall and encouraged parents to give feedback. That includes allowing parents the option to keep their child home for remote learning only. Cash says because this is a fluid situation, the district will allow science to guide their decisions.
“We think if we’re out to survey now with our parents, a percentage will choose in person and a percentage will choose remote learning only, and a percentage working with our principals will figure out what kinds of hybrid approach will work best,” Dr. Cash added.
Recently the Buffalo Teachers Union sent out a survey to their teachers, asking for their thoughts on the district’s reopening plan. According to Buffalo Teachers’ Federation President Phil Rumore, nearly 90% responded they did not believe the district’s plans would keep parents, students, and teachers safe.
Rumore says, “most of them don’t support how the buildings were going to be cleaned, you know, sanitized. There were so many concerns, it was a non-plan.”
And if the teachers don’t get a plan they agree with, Rumore says they’re ready to take legal action against the district.
“We will be filing grievances and go to court to try and block it. Hopefully, that doesn’t happen. But if there’s a plan that’s put forward that our teachers when they vote, believe it’s not safe, and doesn’t provide for a good education, we will do everything in our power to prevent it from happening,” he said.
Governor Cuomo is requiring Buffalo City Schools to hold at least five information sessions like Monday night’s by August 21.