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"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela

Buffalo Teachers Union Continues Gouge of Taxpayers for Tummy Tucks

By Carole Hornsby Haynes  July 11, 2016   Education Reviews

Since 2004 when the Buffalo Teachers Federation signed a new contract with the Buffalo Board of Education (BOE), which oversees New York State’s second largest school district outside of New York City, teachers have been gouging taxpayers for cosmetic surgery.  Yet there has been a lack of basic resources to satisfy minimum state requirements for the high poverty area schools.

The Associated Press reported in 2012:

Many schools in New York’s poor districts lack basic resources six years after a landmark court ruling required the state to increase spending on public education, a study released Monday by Teachers College at Columbia University says……

“The state has put into effect extensive reductions in education funding in recent years — on top of a funding base that the Court of Appeals had already deemed constitutionally inadequate,” the authors wrote…..

Of the 33 schools studied, 31 lacked a sufficient number of certified teachers and 15 schools said they didn’t have enough teachers to meet minimum state requirements in the core subject areas of English language arts, math, science and social studies. In 21 schools, students couldn’t take home text books because there weren’t enough to go around and 22 schools said they didn’t have enough money to replace worn out or obsolete computers and software and keep ink in the printers, the report says.

All of the New York City middle and high schools in the study reported class sizes of 30 or more, with 38 students in some classes.

According to a 2012 article in Syracuse News, at least 100 teachers of the 117 who were laid off could have remained on the job had the union agreed to suspend the cosmetic surgery rider for one year.

“The skin peel treatments, breast enhancements, eyelid work, tummy tucks, while we have 32,000 kids in poverty who need smaller classrooms, who need tremendous resources. To me it's a moral issue," said school board member Larry Quinn.

Because the BOE has a $10.5 million deficit to cover, they voted to end the $5 million cosmetic surgery rider in district’s contract with the teachers.  However, that is on hold for now because the union took the issue to court.  Meanwhile, the school will have to look elsewhere for money to cover the district’s deficit.

The Buffalo Teachers Federation and its members should not be surprised that the BOE lays blame for the crisis in public education on the city’s public school teachers and is escalating efforts to privatize the Buffalo Public Schools.  The union states that the crisis in public education is caused by poverty and joblessness and ignores how its own union policies have contributed to the crisis.   

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