Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Broke Buffalo School District Provides Free Plastic Surgery To All Teachers

You can't explain this. No, I mean really, you can try all day and you will never come up with an explanation for this story from a local Buffalo television station that makes any sense whatsoever:
As thousands of teachers face layoffs across the country, teachers in Buffalo, New York are getting lipo? Yep. And nose jobs and whatever else they want. All on the taxpayers' dime. How is this happening?

This Buffalo plastic surgeon has a lot of happy patients. Dr. Kulwant S. Bhangoo says, "Let's just suppose I was a woman weighed 300 pounds, and I lost 150-160 pounds."

Indeed, that's what happened to Buffalo school teacher Valerie Akauloa, but it's not just the results that make her happy, it's the sweet deal that she gets.

The sweet deal that all the 3,400 teachers in Buffalo are eligible to get under one of their insurance plan options, they are billed nothing for any plastic surgery procedure, such as botox, liposuction, tummy tucks, and there is no deductible.

Linda Tokarz teaches second grade and says she gets regular treatments. She says, "I think its great for us. I wouldn't want to see it taken away."

Dr. Kulwant Bhangoo has been a plastic surgeon in Buffalo for almost four decades. He says, "I feel the teachers have paid their dues and it would be wrong to take it away from them."

While he does have plenty on non-teacher patients, Dr. Bhangoo does say three out of every 10 are Buffalo teachers and the school district's insurance covers every single penny. They will come in for hair removal on their face, liposuction, breast enhancement, and rhinoplasty.

Dr. Bhangoo is one of many plastic surgeons who advertise in where else the teachers union newsletter.

Last year, Buffalo's schools spent $5.9 million on plastic surgery which is also known as a cosmetic rider. And Buffalo teachers have had this rider for nearly four decades.

Now you might think Buffalo's school district must be flush with cash to be offering perks like free plastic surgery, right? Wrong. Louis Petrucci, the president of the Buffalo Board of Education says he is projecting a $42 million deficit in next year's school budget.

You don't have to be a brain surgeon to know that a plastic surgeon or a teacher would like this policy more than the typical taxpayer. But the teachers will tell you there is more to the story. They say the teachers contract with the city expired nearly a decade ago negotiations for a new one have failed.

And they add they are woefully underpaid.
That last sentence might be true, but its hard to feel any sympathy for a group of people who didn't long ago demand that this utter frivolous benefit be dropped so that maybe they could get a better pay raise. The story doesn't explain it, but I would really like to know what brainiac thought providing free plastic surgery to the teachers was a good idea in the first place.

Bonus: This video is dedicated to the Buffalo public school teachers


  1. I live in Buffalo and just discovered your blog last week and I'm a big fan. One thing though is that is not from a Buffalo TV station. The story is true, however, and the teacher's union has even been offering to get rid of the plastic surgery provision, but only in contract negotiations. It's a pathetic example of a standoff between two hollow, corrupt institutions that hurts everyone.

    1. Thanks! I guess it is the newspaper? Sometimes it is hard to tell what entities these local websites represent. I guess I should have just cited CNN, since they were the original source.