Sometimes, as a reporter, you just can't write fast enough. That was the case when State Education Commissioner John King called regarding his letter to the district. The letter demands the district partner with Erie 1 BOCES to provide educational services to high school students at Lafayette and East high schools.
At times clearly exasperated, King used words like "terrible" and "abysmal" to describe the achievement levels at both schools, despite what district and school leaders have described as sincere efforts to improve.
The newly seated school board will be required to convene a special meeting in a few weeks to approve a plan by Aug. 12 to submit to the state.
When King followed up with me late in the day to discuss the story again, he said there's absolutely no way the district will be able to get out of partnering with BOCES in some form. If Lafayette and East want to continue to make use of Johns Hopkins' services, he added, they are certainly encouraged to do so, but they won't be given federal grant money to assist them.
Superintendent Pamela Brown said she's concerned about where the district will get the money to comply with the state demands since the district is ineligible for any state reimbursement or grants to pay the BOCES tuition for students. King responded that "there's clearly a lot of money" if the district restructures its spending priorities.
Here's the copy of King's letter to Brown: