Memo To:   All Buffalo Teachers

From:         Rich Nigro, President, BTF

Date:          February 9, 2024


Subject:     School-Based Budgets

There seems to be confusion relating to the approval of your school’s budget. Please remember that teachers have a say in the approval of their school-based budgets. We encourage our members to speak with their Delegate Chair and/or other members of the SBMT. As per our contract (Article XXI B.), “The Federation shall be given an opportunity at Building Faculty Meetings to present brief reports and announcements.” Delegate Chairs may want to consider using this time to discuss school-based budgets.


The document (CLICK HERE) titled Buffalo Public Schools District Plan for School-Based Planning and Decision Making was adopted by the Buffalo Board of Education on August 26, 2015. It indicates that “the School Based Management Team (SBMT) will be the mechanism by which the school-based planning and shared decision making is implemented at the school level.”


The selected sections below are exactly as they appear in the Board-approved document with emphasis added where noted.


SBMTs will:
“Develop, monitor and revise their schools School Comprehensive Education Plan (SCEP) or School Improvement Grant (SIG) Plan and School-Based Budget”. (emphasis added)


“At least five (5) teacher members, one of whom will be the Buffalo Teachers Federation (BTF) Delegate Chair or Building Committee member, as mandated by the BTF, will be selected by secret ballot of the entire teaching staff at each school.”


Budget and Resource Allocation:
“Resource allocation may include but not be limited to the following: (1) Grants, (2) Supplemental Student Support Services, (3) Parental Involvement (NCLB), (4) Staff Development. Currently, individual schools are able to decide the appropriate use of allocations through the School Based Budgeting process. SBMTs will determine how those allocations will be expended.” (emphasis added)


“The presence of at least one member from each mandated group will constitute a quorum. All SBMTs will have one from each of its mandated constituent groups before matters can be discussed.”


Note: Mandated members are administrators, teachers, and parents.


“SBMTs will make all decisions based on consensus.


Simply defined consensus means that all members ‘can live with’ the decision. Consensus ensures that all parties have involvement in the decision. Consensus is not synonymous with unanimous agreement. When decisions are reached by a consensus it is not unanimous agreement. When decisions are reached by a consensus, it is not necessary that all members completely agree. It is only necessary that they minimally agree. Before consensus can be reached, each member of the SBMT has the right and the obligation to express any disagreement, and to propose a compromise. Through such discussion, team members develop a sense of ownership in the decision, because all parties have had a say in the decision.”


We will be addressing school budgets in more detail at next Thursday's Council of Delegates meeting. At this time, no school-based budgets are final.