Buffalo's priorities questioned

Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

An out-of-control teachers union in Buffalo, New York has taxpayers picking up a $2.7 million tab for teachers' plastic surgeries and nearly $200,000 more for lavish trips -- leading critics to question the district's priorities.

Olson, KyleKyle Olson of the Education Action Group Foundation (EAG) reports that in addition to the lavish perks for teachers, Buffalo schools spend $25,000 per student and have a 12-1 student-teacher ratio. Even so, they have a dismal 54 percent graduation rate and are nearly $50 million in debt.

"When you look at those statistics in terms of spending and student achievement, when you look at what's going on with plastic surgeries … limousines and traveling to five-star hotels and fancy restaurants and all of that, you just have to say, 'What are the priorities of this school district,'" Olson submits.

Though the teachers' contract expired seven years ago, New York's "evergreen" clauses or "perpetual obligation" terms enable the union to continue operating under the old contract.

"So there's a huge incentive for the union to not settle if it believes it's going to lose perks such as this one or make financial concessions and that sort of thing," the EAG spokesman explains.

He says this is a prime example of how the educational system is out of touch with student and parental needs. It also shows that the system is not held accountable by the taxpayers.

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