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Downsize the Buffalo Board of Ed?

When Ferry District rep Pamela Cahill submitted a resolution on Wednesday to downsize the board from nine to six members, the other eight members were quick to vote no.

As some of her colleagues pointed out, there were serious problems with Cahill's resolution, including the fact that a school board needs an odd number of members -- and the fact that her proposed solution for tie votes, having a student cast the deciding vote, is not condoned by state law. Some on the board, including Lou Petrucci and Chris Jacobs, tried unsuccessfully to convince Cahill to send the matter back to committee, in part so she could work out some of the flaws with the resolution.

Board of ed In the end, it's hard to know how many of those eight "no" votes represented out-and-out opposition to the concept of downsizing, and how many were a reflection of the problems woven into Cahill's specific resolution.

So let's say there were a resolution to downsize the board from nine to seven members.

The advantages, according to Cahill: The $5,000 for each board member's stipend, plus other money spent on cell phones, travel, etc., could be spent on services for students. And with a shrinking district that's lost 7,000 students in the past decade, as well as scores of staff, maybe nine members are no longer necessary.

The disadvantages, according to other board members: At a time when Buffalo schools are in dire fiscal straits, the students need as much representation as possible. And saving a few thousand dollars is insignificant in a district budget of about $950 million, once you include all the grants.

How would you vote?

 

 

- Mary Pasciak

E-mail me at mpasciak@buffnews.com or follow me on Follow  SchoolZoneBlog on Twitter Twitter.

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About School Zone

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee joined The Buffalo News in 2007 and currently covers education and suburban schools. She also writes a column for the City & Region section and previously covered government in Erie County and Niagara Falls. Gee graduated from Boston University with degrees in journalism and political science.

@denisejewellgee | djgee@buffnews.com


Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes joined The Buffalo News in 2013 and primarily covers the Buffalo Public Schools. She has written about education since 2003 at newspapers in Florida and New York. In 2008, she was a nominated finalist for The Pulitzer Prize. Lankes is an Amherst native and graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Syracuse University. She started her journalism career writing for the News’ NeXt section.

@TiffanyLankes | tlankes@buffnews.com


Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan has been a cityside reporter for The Buffalo News since 2000 and currently covers the Buffalo Public Schools beat. She previously covered the Williamsville school district and was a full-time education reporter for five years prior to joining The News. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

@BNschoolzone | stan@buffnews.com


Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams began working for The Buffalo News in 1999 and currently covers Buffalo Public Schools. She formerly was a suburban reporter on the Northtowns beat and has been a cityside reporter covering communities since 2004. Williams has a mass communications degree from Towson University.

@DeidreWilliamsB | dswilliams@buffnews.com

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