Teachers Union Sues School District For Changing Class Start Times

Ted Goodman | Reporter

The Buffalo Teachers Federation filed a lawsuit against Buffalo Public Schools and its superintendent, Dr. Kriner Cash, after the district changed the start times for three of its schools.

While the three schools are all in receivership, a status that gives the superintendent broad authority to make changes in the interest of students, the union said Thursday that the changes in question were made solely to save money.

A judge ordered a stay in the case, meaning that the start times for the three schools can’t be altered until the New York State Education Commission decides whether or not the three schools still fall under Cash’s receivership authority.

The judge’s order could lead to massive headaches if the new start times are thrown out. The school district has already reconfigured transportation schedules based on the new times, according to the Buffalo News.

The union further argued that the decision to change the start times at the three schools violates the current contract, which states that changes in start times will not occur until the 2018-2019 school year.

The school district said that plans to change the start times at Dr. Charles R. Drew Science Magnet School, D’Youville Porter Campus School, and Dr. Lydia T. Wright School of Excellence were announced in April. The latest developments have forced the district to consider legal options in response.

“There is definitely a challenge coming, and coming fast,” Shauna Strom, legal counsel for the Buffalo Public Schools, told The Buffalo News. “There is a sense of immediacy.”

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