School Board member at-large, John Licata, an attorney on the Buffalo News live chat today at 2 PM taking a series of questions as Mary Pasciak passed them on to the computer screen. Mr. Licata answered many questions many about the exempt employees, Superintendent James Williams pending termination, charter schools, etc.
When asked what's happening to attendance? Didn't the Board allocate $500,000 for attendance teachers? When are they suppose to come on board?
He responded, "We did. There is an issue about job description that it... to be resolved soon. They need to be in place now to have the benefit of getting students in class by September. I share your urgency and expect an update on this on Friday."
Interestingly, Licata offered a clue about who will be the interim superintendent when and if Williams goes on the no fault provision of his contract. He said, "It is my expectation that the interim superintendent will be someone with working knowledge of the district and will have a seamless entry into the post during the search for the permanent replacement."
And he added the Board is meeting on August 17th with a rep from the NYS School Boards Association to discuss the process for a new superintendent search and move forward from there.
A few asked why the Board chose no fault instead of for cause to oust Williams.
The "for cause" is a longer process an appeals involved while the "no fault" has the benefit of speed and finality, the reason why it was chosen as one of the contractual options for Williams.
His last parting words to the community:
"Education will only improve if we as a community improve the process by participation. Parents have to get their kids to school. The central office has to supply the teachers with the necessary technology to educate; teachers have to participate in professional development to continue to improve their skills. The era of confrontational education has to come to an end. Students are in the schools on a daily basis without any motivation or even sense of why they should be in school at all.
My hope is we can devise an education system that taps into the natural curiosity of children when they are four years old and cultivate that like a flame instead of dousing whatever intellectual pursuit is there in the need to have a rote education that can be measured by the standardized test."