Sunday, October 17, 2010

The superintendent who cried wolf

Remember, last week when Buffalo superintendent James Williams threatened to layoff 900 school employees? Turns out he was just kidding...

Buffalo School Superintendent James A. Williams has been telling television reporters that the district may be forced to lay off as many as 900 district employees during this school year because of state decisions regarding pensions and charter school funding.

But a written report Williams delivered to the school board last week counters that assessment, as a school financial officer sought to clarify what Williams meant.

“We’re looking at pretty close to 900 individuals we would have to lay off,” Williams told WGRZ in response to a question about how many layoffs the district could be looking at this school year.

Williams told YNN of Buffalo the same.

But Williams informed the school board in a memo earlier in the week that a mid-year layoff of 912 people “is not possible, not recommended or being considered by the administration at this time.”

Barbara J. Smith, chief financial officer for the Buffalo Public Schools, said in an interview with The Buffalo News that she wanted to clarify what Williams meant in his comments to TV reporters. The district has no intention of laying off hundreds of people mid-year, she said.

“Nine hundred layoffs? We could never do that. That’s not good for anybody,“ Smith said.

Obviously, these are idol threats Dr. Williams continues to make in front of the TV cameras. As I suggested last week, if Williams wants to let employees go, he should start with his overpaid chief of staff, West Seneca resident James Kane...

Layoffs, charter schools take center stage - Schools - The Buffalo News

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