It was a rare opportunity in the city of Buffalo. For the first time in 15 years, all nine seats on the Board of Education were up for election Tuesday.
The Buffalo Teachers Federation did not miss its chance.
All nine seats — four new members and five incumbents — went to candidates backed by the BTF, the powerful NYSUT local led by President Philip Rumore.
“We did it together,” Rumore said, citing the work of in-service and retiree members, and other supporters in the community. “It was a team effort, and NYSUT was an integral part of the team.”
Clearly, it could not have gone better.
“Here’s what we accomplished: We elected a school board that cares about the kids,” he said.
Larry Scott, a NYSUT member from the Kenmore Teachers Association and co-chair of the Buffalo Parent-Teacher Organization, won one of three critical at-large seats.
“The victory by nine true champions of public education in Buffalo sends a resounding message that anything is possible if educators and parents stick together to defend our values and fight for high-quality public education for all,” said NYSUT President Andy Pallotta.
“These results are a clean sweep for Buffalo’s public school children, and I congratulate them and the Buffalo Teachers Federation for their tremendous work,” he said.
“It is also a sign of what is to come on May 21, when more communities go to the polls to adopt school budgets and elect school boards. When we stick together, public school students win.”
Rumore specifically thanked NYSUT staffers Nicki Richardson and Louisa Pacheco for their roles in spreading the word and getting out the vote.