An odd provision in the contracts between the Teacher’s Union and the Buffalo School District has resulted in a public outcry for reform. The school district has long provided health insurance for its teachers, but what is not as well known, is the fact that the district also provides a means for tenured teachers to receive cosmetic surgery as part of their “Health Benefits”. Last year alone, the school district was on the hook for 5.4 million dollars in cosmetic procedures, ranging from Botox to breast augmentations.
This obviously does not sit well with the public. Especially when many of the teachers who benefit from such a line item in the district’s budget, have long complained about class size and a lack of funding for the students. Even further arguments have ensued because that 5.4 million dollars is an increase of $400,000 from the previous year. And even further than that, citizens have been crying foul in the wake of the recently released graduation statistics in which five Buffalo area schools are below a fifty percent graduation rate; with one school posting its lowest graduating class in the history of the school.
This long time rider and its new scrutiny has attracted so much attention, that a mediator will be brought in to renegotiate the clause. All sides must work out whether or not the city of Buffalo, NY should be required, or can even afford to provide such services, given the state of the School District’s budget. Hopefully an amicable deal can be reached.