It seemed like everyone was on the State Education Department's case on Monday. Teachers, administrators, council members, board members, Assembly members, you name it. Much of Monday's rhetoric was an extension of ongoing complaints that run along the lines of: "How dare the state do this to us. Good things are happening here. What do they know?"
"You just take away everything because someone downtown didn't fill out an application properly?" said Anne Blonski, an eighth-grade teacher at Lafayette.
I've been interested in a couple of things: Where does the state get the authority to require Buffalo to partner with BOCES (Ryan raised this issue in passing Monday), and how will the Buffalo school district pay for any plans it has to both partner with BOCES and continue the role of Johns Hopkins University.
I suspect we may learn more about the cost equation at Wednesday's board meeting. But state officials offered two answers to my questions.
Regarding the question about the commissioner's authority, state ed spokesman Dennis Tompkins stated:
In response to my question about the cost of funding King's directive and continuing to work with Johns Hopkins University without any federal grant money, Tompkins offered this comment Monday: "We offered to go through the Buffalo school district’s budget line by line. We’re confident the district has enough resources to make this work. We’ve had no response from the district."
My colleague, Jill Terreri, did an extended blog item regarding the Common Council's education committee meeting Monday. It's on the Politics Now blog.
Below is the letter sent to King from Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Assemblyman Sean Ryan on Friday.