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New buyout for deputy superintendent under wraps

When the Board of Ed meets tomorrow afternoon, it will consider a revised buyout package for Deputy Superintendent Folasade Oladele.

The previous settlement -- a year's pay and benefits, or about $215,000 -- didn't fly, as you might recall. Although the board approved the settlement on a 5-3 vote, community opposition was strong, as her contract entitled her to three month's pay, or $42,000.

So while Oladele used up some accumulated vacation time in July, the district got busy renegotiating with her. The word is that the new package involves three months' pay and benefits, as well as a payout for unused benefit time.

But Board President Lou Petrucci will not disclose the terms of the settlement.

Not yet, anyway.

He says that according to the terms of the separation agreement with Oladele, the board cannot release the terms until after it is approved.

In other words, the public will have no way to know for sure what the board is voting on until after it's a done deal.

Bob Freeman, executive director of the state's Committee on Open Government, says despite the confidentiality clause in the separation agreement, the board could disclose the terms of the buyout if it chose to.

"Clearly, if the board wants to disclose this proposed agreement, it may do so," he said.

"This clause in my opinion has no legal weight. A promise of confidentiality doesn't mean a thing," he said. "The only time a promise of confidentiality must be honored is a situation in which a statute forbids disclosure. There's no obligation to disclose, but there's nothing in law that would prohibit disclosure."

- Mary Pasciak

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Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee joined The Buffalo News in 2007 and currently covers education and suburban schools. She also writes a column for the City & Region section and previously covered government in Erie County and Niagara Falls. Gee graduated from Boston University with degrees in journalism and political science.

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Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes joined The Buffalo News in 2013 and primarily covers the Buffalo Public Schools. She has written about education since 2003 at newspapers in Florida and New York. In 2008, she was a nominated finalist for The Pulitzer Prize. Lankes is an Amherst native and graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Syracuse University. She started her journalism career writing for the News’ NeXt section.

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Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan has been a cityside reporter for The Buffalo News since 2000 and currently covers the Buffalo Public Schools beat. She previously covered the Williamsville school district and was a full-time education reporter for five years prior to joining The News. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

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Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams began working for The Buffalo News in 1999 and currently covers Buffalo Public Schools. She formerly was a suburban reporter on the Northtowns beat and has been a cityside reporter covering communities since 2004. Williams has a mass communications degree from Towson University.

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