The new contract for Buffalo teachers is a relief for many parents in the district. Time Warner Cable News reporter Kaitlyn Lionti spoke with the president of the District Parent Coordinating Council, who says he's glad the district can put this long-time distraction in the past.
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Among those glad to have a new contract for the Buffalo Teachers Federation are the families of students in the Buffalo Public School District.
"As parents, our number one responsibility is to children, so I think this is progress for our children," said Sam Radford, president of the District Parent Coordinating Council. He thinks the contract included many important changes.
"Buffalo had the shortest school day in all of Erie County, the sixth shortest school day in the country, I think it was important that the children who need the most get the most. I think the fact that we've extended the school day was important," said Radford.
While it will only be 25 more minutes each day, Radford says it adds up over time.
"I think the way we calculate that is over a 12-year period, our children received a year and a half less of school. Almost two years less of school," he said, "Right now, the district is out of compliance with the requirement to provide physical education to every child, because they don't have enough time in the day to do it."
District leaders say they're proud of the compromises that were reached, including those related to health care.
"I know that the cosmetic rider was a sticking point for many people in the community, and I was encouraged that the union was willing to give that up. Our children have had really amazing teachers over the years, and it is a really important step forward," said James Cercone, a parent of two students in the district. He's also the English education program coordinator at SUNY Buffalo State, training future teachers.
Cercone says the deal could prompt more retirements because of teachers waiting for a raise before doing so.
"Developing, recruiting and retaining bright young teachers is the key to the city's future," he said, "And I know lots of new teachers that would be thrilled to work in Buffalo and commit to the students in the city, and I think this will make that more likely moving forward."