Teachers Federation and parents weigh-in on BPS reopening plan


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)– Buffalo Public Schools will finally begin having some students back into the classrooms starting on February 1 and the decision is getting mixed reactions.

Parent leader Sam Radford is glad the Buffalo school board voted unanimously last night to begin bringing back high school seniors and those in grades pre-K through two starting February 1. But he does question the timing.

“The numbers are higher now than they were in November but it’s safe to send kids to school? I think it was safe to send kids to school in November and in September and other school districts did that. So the fact that we are going back February 1, I’m not convinced that we’re gonna send them on February 1 because the teachers are pushing back.”

Sam Radford, Co-chair, We The Parents, Buffalo

Buffalo teachers Federation President Phil Rumore is still concerned that some schools don’t have enough PPE, or proper plans for sanitation and distancing.

“We are not doing this to say gotcha we’re doing this so the district says look here are some of the concerns. We are going to work with you but please let’s get them corrected because otherwise, the schools will not be safe.”

Phil Rumore, President, Buffalo Teachers Federation

Rumore has a meeting scheduled tonight with the union’s delegates to decide what the next step will be.

“My son likes to ask the teacher directly face to face,” said Kim Hernandez.

Kim Hernandez has two teens in Special Education who still cannot return on February 1.

“It’s based on the square footage of the building. It’s based on how many kids go to the schools. So you know the schools are doing the best they can in how many they can bring back at a time.”

Kim Hernandez- Buffalo Schools Reopening Committee Member

George Richert is an award-winning reporter who first joined the News 4 team in 1998, later returning in 2018. See more of his work here.

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