What Should be the Top Issues for New Buffalo School Board Members?

Two outgoing members say teacher's contract, renewing superintendent's contract tops their lists

Tom Puckett
May 08, 2019 - 4:00 am

Brendan Keany

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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) As the new Buffalo School Board prepares to settle in, what are some of the issues they'll have to address as they take over? Two outgoing board members give their views.

Larry Quinn says it's about the teachers' contract, and in particular giving the district more control in the classroom. "The overwhelming issue is a new teachers contract and whether the board will address management control," says Quinn, who says the money can be agreed upon. "Right now the contract completely strangles the district's prerogative to manage the classroom the way they need to be managed. Selecting the teacher, managing and supervising the teacher, all of which is highly restrictive under the current contract, and whether the board's willing to do that is the whole ball game."

Quinn also addresses another matter of educating students. "Some of these students are not necessarily ready for college but can benefit by career technical education and the amount the board emphasizes that over college, and getting students ready for both is important," adds Quinn.

Patti Pierce agrees with Quinn on the importance of the teachers' contract, but the biggest issue is Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore. "The nonsense behind closed doors, negotiating a contract was stalemated for 12 to 14 years before a deal was finally in place. Now they're back at the bargaining table and Rumore's antics are the same, walking out the door, stomping his feet like a child will be an issue,' says Pierce.

Pierce also feels renewing the superintendent's contract is big. "It's a priority to appoint a superintendent," says Pierce. "I'm pleased with Kriner Cash's work to date. It's certainly a difficult position to put someone in, and you can't expect miracles overnight. He's been moving the needle in the right direction, and for that we are grateful."

Pierce says it's up to the board whether to keep Cash or pick someone else.

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