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Attorneys for the Buffalo Public Schools on Thursday asked a judge to clear the way for the district to proceed with involuntary transfers of 54 teachers.
An arbitrator ruled last week that the transfers violated the Buffalo Teachers Federation contract and directed the district to "cease and desist."
Attorneys for the district argued in a court filing that the arbitrator exceeded her authority in directing the district not to take action "that the district is compelled to take by law. This case pits the parties' collective bargaining agreement obligations against the clear legislative mandate issued to the district under federal and state law."
The district had four federal improvement models to choose from for the three schools in question: Drew Science Magnet, Bilingual Center 33 and Futures Academy. The district had already reached the limit on how many schools could use one option, known as transformation, and closure was not a feasible option, the attorneys wrote.
The only two remaining options were turnaround, which requires moving half the staff, and restart, which involves hiring an outside group to run the schools. The restart option "was not available, because the district was unable to find an appropriate educational partnership organization, as required by law," attorneys Karl W. Kristoff and Emina Poricanin of Hodgson Russ wrote.
The two sides are due back before State Supreme Court Justice Gerald J. Whalen on Sept. 18.