About a year ago, when Buffalo lost one of its rounds of federal funding to turn around failing schools, the district got something of a consolation prize: $300,000 apiece in planning money for each of three schools.
We know that only $73,234 of the $300,000 was spent at Lafayette.
It's kind of a curious situation when the district is actually awarded money and then fails to use it all. What's the implication there? We certainly hear an awful lot about the district's perennial funding shortfalls. How on earth did money get left on the table?
Well, it turns out that Lafayette was not alone in not using all the money it received.
Each of those schools used some of their money to pay the salary of a new position, an assistant principal at each school who is supposed to take on some of the building management duties, to free up the principal to spend more time on instructional leadership.
Riverside and Burgard each also paid a parent coordinator out of planning grant funds.
And Riverside paid a chunk of money -- $127,324 -- to Medaille College, which has a partnership with Riverside.
By the end of the grant year (which ended in June), Riverside spent $163,834 of its $300,000.
Burgard spent a grand total of $56,827.
And so, ladies and gentlemen, here's the bottom line:
Total awarded to the three schools in 2010-11: $900,000.
Money actually spent $382,590.
Money left on the table: $517,409.
Impression left on the community: Priceless.
- Mary Pasciak