As concerned citizens of the City of Buffalo, and others that care for the future of our community and our schools, we wish to express our absolute opposition to the layoffs of 104 probationary/tenured teachers, an unknown number of temporary teachers, and 150 teacher aides/assistants by the Buffalo Public Schools - scheduled to take effect on August 31, 2011. We believe that these cuts will irreparably damage our schools in the following ways:
- Increase class sizes to unprecedented levels.
- Permanently eliminate some of our most talented and effective teachers.
- Throw away tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars invested in the specialized training of these teachers.
- Require additional tens of thousands of taxpayer funds to train the more senior teachers taking the positions of those laid off.
- Destabilize those successful school programs currently achieving Average Yearly Progress.
- Shift hundreds of teachers around the district to fill the seats of those laid off.
- Eliminate the greatest number of teachers in the crucial content areas of math and English Language Arts due to the failure of the district to plan for the inevitable elimination of Model B.
We ask that, among others, the BPS Board of Education, Superintendent, President of the BTF, and Mayor of the City of Buffalo/City Comptroller immediately begin a rapid process of reviewing all BPS funding allocations using a schools/students first, central office last approach that will pursue all possible strategies for shifting funds to school buildings. Every possible resource should be used to stop these cuts from taking place at the classroom level so that we may retain the laid off teachers and teacher aides/assistants. This process must be completed PRIOR TO AUGUST 31 to avert the impending disaster that will be caused by staff reductions and shifts of BPS building-based educators. We advocate, but do not limit solutions to, the following actions:
The children of the City of Buffalo need their teachers and teacher aides/assistants more than the costly bureaucratic expenses listed above. Every dollar that can be redirected toward restoring staff must be considered. District funds must be redirected until all the positions are restored.
WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, DO NOT ACCEPT THAT THE CUTS IN SCHOOL BASED STAFF ARE INEVITABLE. WE DEMAND THAT OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS, SUPERINTENDENT AND THE BTF WORK TOGETHER AND ADOPT A NEW APPROACH TO SCHOOL FUNDING THAT WILL SAVE THESE EDUCATORS BY AUGUST 31, 2011.