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Will State Ed commissioner bring his listening tour to Erie County?

State Education Commissioner John King has been traveling the state to listen to the public on Common Core and other state education reform initiatives. 

But despite including Amherst on an initial list of locations he plans to hold a public forum, no details have been released about when or where that meeting might be held.

A forum schedule posted on the state Department of Education website includes only a meeting scheduled Dec. 4 in Jamestown for Western New York.

That has led some, including State Sen. Tim Kennedy, to question whether King still plans to bring his tour to the Buffalo area.

"I certainly appreciate you traveling to as many regions, and holding as many forums, as possible," Kennedy wrote in a letter to King that he also released publicly, "but it is imperative that you do not ignore the largest school district in Western New York in favor of an event that is about 70 miles -- or more than an hour-and-a-half drive -- away from Buffalo."

So is Amherst or another location in the Buffalo area still on the list for a Common Core forum?

"We will definitely be holding a forum in Erie County before the end of the year," state ed spokesman Jonathan Burman said this morning.

King came under criticism last month after he cancelled a series of community forums organized by the New York State PTA after encountering a raucous crowd at the first meeting in Poughkeepsie. Amherst was one of the locations included in the PTA series.

-- Denise Jewell Gee

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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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