With just hours remaining before Buffalo students return to their classrooms, 54 city teachers from three low-performing schools remained in limbo late Tuesday, still unsure where they will be teaching this year.
But that doesn't mean there weren't any developments in the case Tuesday, the day that teachers returned to their schools.
The Buffalo Teachers Federation had legal papers filed Tuesday, in part asking for a restraining order to prevent the school district from continuing to implement the transfers. The district had transferred the teachers, against their wishes, as part of its turnaround plans for three low-performing schools.
Last week, an arbitrator, ruling that the involuntary transfers violated the teachers contract, ordered the district not to implement those transfers. Top school officials, who could not be reached to comment Tuesday, have said they haven't decided whether to appeal the arbitrator's decision.
The matter also could be settled outside the courts. School Board President Mary Ruth Kapsiak has called a special meeting for 4 p.m. today to discuss the board's options in the case.
That has left Buffalo Teachers Federation President Philip Rumore fuming that this issue won't be resolved until after students report to their classrooms.
"We asked the district weeks ago for an expedited arbitration to get this resolved," he said Tuesday. "They're just dragging their feet and waiting until the last minute."
Rumore also released a copy of a memo he sent to School Superintendent Dr. Pamela C. Brown on Tuesday.
"Teachers can't believe that you are waiting until Wednesday, Sept. 5 (after school begins), to make a decision as to whether to 'live up' to an arbitrator's decision that stated you have, once again, violated our contract," Rumore wrote.
The union chief said he assumed that the 54 teachers reported Tuesday to the schools where they were reassigned.