BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - For years, the Buffalo School District has failed to turn around East and Lafayette High Schools, costing taxpayers millions of dollars.
State Education Commissioner John King and his Deputy Ken Slentz are imposing BOCES on East and Lafayette High Schools because the district has failed time and again to submit turnaround plans that meet state and federal requirements. Some parents resent the state, claiming the schools were blind-sided by the education commissioner, but it appears King has simply run out of patience for the Buffalo School District.
The facts show that the district has failed to turn around East High School for a number of years, even as graduation rates plummeted. In 2010, East was identified as a Persistently Lowest Achieving School. In 2011, the district failed to submit a turnaround plan, losing millions of dollars in grant money. In 2012, the district's plan to have Johns Hopkins University manage the school was rejected for inadequate details. In 2013, the plan was again rejected.
School board member James Sampson said, "This district is losing a lot of money because of our inability to complete these plans in a timely and thoughtful way, and in a way that the state can accept."
Deputy State Education Commissioner Ken Slentz cites seven teleconferences and e-mails to the Buffalo District this year spelling out what is required by the state. And this past Saturday he again listed "a summary of the deficiencies" in the district's proposals to turn around East and Lafayette.
"They had been in constant communication with us, so there is a question if we are capable of putting together these plans," Sampson said.
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