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How many teachers would move next year?

The School Board decided Wednesday to decide on June 6 whether to submit turnaround plans for East and Lafayette high schools and Buffalo Elementary School of Technology.

The district in December submitted plans to hire outside groups to run those schools -- but those plans are contingent on the district submitting a teacher evaluation plan by July 1. And at this point, it remains to be seen whether that will happen.

These alternative plans are those that each building principal coordinated in the fall. Each one requires that half the teachers be moved, per federal guidelines.

The union, you might recall, has consistently fought such plans. Phil Rumore calls it the "stupid 50 percent rule" and says it would cause chaos throughout the district, given the bumping that would likely occur.

Darren Brown, who runs the district's human resources department, gave the board his current estimates on how many teachers would have to be moved out of each of those three schools in 2012-13, along with the other three schools that have already submitted turnaround plans to the state.

Although the federal rules require that half the teachers be moved, the actual number is much less than half.

That's partly because the district has options on how it counts instructional staff, and partly because teachers who have been in the school for a year or less are allowed to stay.

At the six schools -- the three that are definitely moving teachers (Bilingual Center, Futures and Drew), plus the three that are likely to (East, Lafayette and BEST) -- there are a total of 363 teachers, according to the info Brown provided. Of those, 76 -- about one out of five overall -- have been at their respective schools a year or less.

The district is still tweaking its numbers, but at this point, it looks like 107 teachers, total, at the six schools would have to move. (That's almost one-third of the teachers in those schools. There are a total of about 3,500 teachers in the district.)

Here's the breakdown, by school:

School Total teachers Teachers there one year or less Teachers to be moved Teachers who requested voluntary transfers
BEST 57 11 18 25
Bilingual Center 33 52 8 18 34
Futures Academy 55 9 19 30
Drew Science Magnet 36 5 13 17
Lafayette 93 27 20 22
East 70 16 19 36


Brown says that at each of the schools, the number of teachers who requested voluntary transfers for 2012-13 exceeds the number of teachers who have to move.

Generally, of course, only a fraction of the teachers in the district who request a voluntary transfer actually get one, seeing as the voluntary transfers are a function of openings that arise.

- Mary Pasciak

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About School Zone

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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