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Profile of candidate for Buffalo School Board: Theresa A. Harris-Tigg, East District

Theresa A. Harris-Tigg, 61, assistant professor of English education at SUNY Buffalo State.

Children in Buffalo schools: None.

Experience: School Board member since 2013; head of Student Achievement Committee and liaison with educational partnership organizations that try to help struggling schools

Reasons for running: “Essentially to continue my life work, what I love, helping young people get a good education.”

Supporters: Buffalo Teachers Federation, Citizen Action of New York.

Expected campaign budget: “As much as I can.”

ON THE ISSUES:

• Opposes more charter schools in Buffalo.

• Supports extending the school day and school year.

• Does not think that the state receivership law – which places the most struggling schools under control of the superintendent – will improve schools; calls the law “not well thought-out” and says that it “doesn’t make logical sense.”

• Opposes using student test results in teacher evaluations.

• Thinks that Superintendent Kriner Cash is doing a “good” job; calls him “diligent,” “determined” and “highly intelligent.”

• District priorities for the 2016-17 budget should be smaller class sizes, additional bus aides and more reading teachers.

IN HER OWN WORDS:

On the divided School Board: “We’re a policymaking body with differing views. There’s nine of us, and we don’t always all see eye-to-eye on the same things. … The people that voted for us, their hope – their wish – is that we would work together and get some things done, and we have a ways to go to do that. We’ve been able to accomplish some things together, and we’re far apart on many other things.”

On what would be different if the minority bloc were the majority (after deflecting the question): “I think it’s easier with the minority bloc to get focused on the kids. … So perhaps there would be more of a focus on what the kids are experiencing every day in school. There seems to be a consensus there around that. And there seems to be a consensus around teachers getting the support they need to help all the children.”

On the long-expired teacher contract and stalled negotiations: “Poor communication. Poor negotiations on both sides. It’s a lot of variables, moving targets that won’t allow a rich, honest conversation around that contract on both sides of the table.”

On the board’s legal battle with LPCiminelli over the $1.3 billion school reconstruction project: “There’s not much about it that I can talk about, but I really don’t have an opinion. We’re trying to work together as a board around those issues, but I really don’t have a personal opinion.”

– Deidre Williams