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Buffalo Schools Won't Honor Secret Agreement With Union

The Buffalo City School District will not honor an agreement with the Buffalo Teachers Federation that promised to not use teacher evaluations as grounds for firing a teacher. According to The Buffalo News, the voided agreement came after Governor Andrew Cuomo pressured the school district to move forward with using the evaluation system:

"The state Education Department has determined that the memorandum of understanding dated Jan. 15, 2013, between the Buffalo City School District and the Buffalo Teachers Federation is void," Superintendent Pamela C. Brown said in a written statement. "The district will proceed in accordance with the department’s determination."

New York State Education Commission John King had said earlier this week, “There can be no side agreements.” He added that any district with such an agreement not to use the evaluations toward termination proceedings would jeopardize their increase in state aid and other funds. Governor Cuomo said the side agreement “was on the line of being a fraud in the ethical and legal sense.”

Brown’s decision would mean that more than $50 million in State education funding is no longer in jeopardy for the district. However, the teachers’ union is threatening to “take whatever action is necessary to enforce that agreement.”

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