To: Buffalo Board of Education
From: Carl P. Paladino
Date: May 8, 2013
Yesterday the children of our City won a battle in their reach for a real opportunity for an education. The people of the Park District sent out a clear message to the rest of the City that amateur hour is over and failed leadership must be replaced with competent, informed and experienced leadership, not from out of town but from within our hometown.
We don’t have to go beyond the County line to find good leadership familiar with our turf, our people and our problems who are ready to hit the ground running. Much of the wasted collaboration, rhetoric, laid back attitude with no sense of urgency will be obviated with competent leadership.
No more playing the race card.
No more malicious and slanderous mailers from Phil Rumore and Mike Deely and sanctioned by members and the president of the Board of Education (BOE).
No more complicity between BOE members, the Superintendent and union leaders.
No more illegal MOUs and side letters.
The days of the domination and influence over the Buffalo public schools by onerous and predatory union leaders are ended.
I submit to you the following:
1) Pending the seating of the new Board on July 1, the present BOE and Superintendent must not take any policy action, execute or otherwise extend any employment contracts with administrative and executive staff, make any senior administrative staff appointments or otherwise bind the Buffalo Schools system and the newly elected BOE.
2) Considering public information that is available, there is sufficient evidence of the apparent complicity among Phil Rumore, Superintendent Pamela Brown and BOE President Ruth Kapsiak and possibly other members of the BOE to defraud the State of New York by executing a side letter to the APPR agreement and the Board must immediately resolve a request that the New York State Attorney General and /or Inspector General investigate the illegality and criminality of their actions which have put in jeopardy millions of dollars in state funding.
3) Pending confirming results of that investigation, (if not criminal the actions of the individuals were unethical and unprofessional,) the BOE must demand that Pamela Brown and Ruth Kapsiak immediately step down from their offices and Ruth Kapsiak and other Board members who sanctioned the side letter at the time of its making must recuse themselves from any deliberation or vote on the resolution. The Board should be publicly polled to determine which members may have been complicit in the illegality and there should be no attempt to deliberate these questions in executive session. The public has a right to know.
4) Pending confirming results of the investigation, the BOE must inform the Buffalo Teachers Federation that its President Phil Rumore should be removed from any contact, activity, negotiation or other matters involving the Buffalo Schools System and that the Buffalo BOE will not in any way deal with the man.
5) The BOE must also petition the State Education Commissioner and its distinguished educator to conduct and provide an independent and objective evaluation of the performance of the Superintendent and her executive staff.
6) As an additional action item, as a result of the Superintendent and her executive staff’s failure to timely and competently address the APPR requirements, the Superintendent, at yesterday’s Principal’s meeting ridiculously and laughably tried to dodge responsibility for the illegal side letter and made an attempt to force building Principals, Asst. Principals, directors and supervisors to evaluate their staff by the end of the month using an evaluation tool for which they have received little or no training. There is a lack of valid student data and even with data, the process cannot be completed within the allotted time frame. It is unfair and uncomfortable to implement. Coupled with the BTF’s informing teachers that the process is not valid and will be addressed in the courts, teacher cooperation is unlikely. It is clearly evident that the system is totally breaking down and chaotic. I was told today that the instrumental music program was cancelled in all schools, yet we have buses that carry 1 student at the rate of $500/day and the head of transportation made $60,000 in overtime last year. Hello, is anyone there?