April 16, 2014 - 10:13 PM
The State Education Department said this week that the Buffalo Public Schools' plans to phase out and relaunch two struggling city schools aren't good enough. As noted in today's story, Deputy Commissioner Ken Slentz said the district's plans to turn Bennett High School into a new STE@M Academy focused on science and technology must be delayed at least a year.
He also said the plans to turn Martin Luther King Multicultural Institute into a Medical Campus High School are insufficient. The district has until the end of next week to answer a slew of questions posed by the state.
April 14, 2014 - 11:00 AM
According to a presentation made at a Buffalo School Board committee meeting last month, lots of Buffalo public school kids suffer from mouth pain.
According to the University Pediatric Dentistry, 1,391 children out of 11,316 surveyed missed at least one day of school because of mouth pain. Moreover, roughly a third of kids said they didn't regularly brush their teeth and have experienced mouth pain.
Candidates running for the Buffalo school board were supposed to submit their first round of financial disclosures this week.
As usual, a number of them did not submit anything. Others reported that they had not collected the $500 required to itemize the contributions.
As today's story in the News notes, the most interesting disclosure came from Larry Quinn, whose contributors included a Who's Who of some of the most influential business leaders in the community.
Here are copies of the disclosures filed this week:
Buffalo School Board financial disclosures
April 11, 2014 - 12:01 AM
As noted in today's story, the Buffalo School Board held a special work session Thursday evening to discuss the ongoing budget deficit and suggestions on ways to help close the remaining gap.
To bring the deficit down from $19.5 million to $12.6 million, the district is recommending $7.6 million in cuts to special education personnel, $2.5 million in health care and $500,000 in savings by closing under-enrolled student programs. A remaining $12.6 million gap still exists.
The Buffalo school board will hold a regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. The agenda and related materials can be here. Follow our live blog for updates from the meeting.
There are 1,224 homeless students attending Buffalo Public Schools, according to a report given to the School Board last week during an Educational Support Services Committee meeting. The majority of these homeless students are children in elementary grades. Below is the grade-by-grade breakdown.
-- Sandra Tan
Homeless BPS Students 2013-14
In January, the American Institutes for Research released an analysis of how Say Yes to Education in Syracuse utilized school data to improve outcomes for students. It's conclusion presented some findings that were rather critical of Say Yes Syracuse and raise questions for Say Yes Buffalo:
From the project’s initiation, however, many conditions for productive data use were not in place in Syracuse. For example, existing data resources were not comprehensive and did not lend themselves to analysis and evaluation goals; leadership regarding data resources was not consistent; little support for administrators’ and teachers’ data use existed; and some educators in SCSD considered the burden of additional data collection to outweigh the benefits.
This will be a busy week for candidates vying for the three open seats on the Buffalo school board.
The first round of financial disclosures are due today. Nominating petitions are due tomorrow, and already some candidates are filing. Bernie Tolbert was the first to submit his on Friday, and Sergio Rodriguez was at the Board of Elections office filing his this morning.
Both sets of filings are expected to trickle in throughout the week, since they just have to be postmarked by the deadline.
Watch the School Zone blog for updates on who is filing, donating and carrying petitions in this year's race.
At least a dozen candidates are expected to enter the race for the May 6 election to fill three at-large seats carrying five-year terms.
As noted in today's story, State Education Commissioner John King has denied Carl Paladino's petitions to have School Board President Barbara Nevergold removed from office. Below is King's decision regarding Paladino's second petition, which alleged that Nevergold does not legally hold her seat because she didn't run for election in May 2013, the year after her appointment.
Below is King's decision regarding Paladino's second petition. The most interesting stuff is in the last two pages. If you have difficulty reading the embedded document below, follow this link: http://www.counsel.nysed.gov/Decisions/volume53/documents/d16595.pdf
-- Sandra Tan
King's Decision on Paladino Petition 3-12