BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The New York State Education Commissioner John King is visiting western New York Thursday. The Buffalo Public School crisis could be entering a new chapter, just days before classes resume.
The commissioner is talking about the possibility of an Educational Oversight Board, much like the Control Board, replacing the Buffalo School Board. He is also talking about appointing a new superintendent of the school district, which would take new legislation. Another approach could be a stronger mayoral control of the schools, or the present school board taking on more of a leadership role.
"That is certainly possible," Commissioner King said. "The Board of Regents has put forward a legislative proposal that is under consideration."
Commissioner King has been critical of Buffalo School Superintendent Pamela Brown and her failure in the past, and the central office's failure to properly submit plans to turn around some low-performing Buffalo schools.
"Preparing school improvement grant applications, complying with teacher and principal evaluation law. Things that other districts are doing as a matter of course, they're struggling with," he said.
King met with the superintendent and others last Friday, in Albany, and he hopes that meeting can be a turning point for the district.
"My preference is that the school board step up and demonstrate its ability to lead and set an agenda for this district and start turning around these schools," said board member Jim Sampson. "If that doesn't happen I will be one of the first to start talking about other forms of government. That's, the mayor will take over the district, or a potential of the control board. Both the City of Buffalo and Erie County have control boards, I'm actually chair of the County Control Board, and when they have to step in they have to step in and assume some of the control and responsibility. That may have to happen here."
At Buffalo City Hall Thursday, Superintendent Brown and the school board are discussing the possible tenure for five principals in the district. Some board members and Brown do not see eye to eye on the situation.
"Good progress over this past school year academically, as far as it relates to attendance, the school climate and so on. So I believe that we are on the right track to turning schools around," Brown said.
There is another Lake Effect Snow Warning in effect for Erie, Wyoming, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties from Thursday through early Friday.
Lake Effect Snow Warnings return today with the chance for an additional foot for some areas.
A 26-year-old male employee of Ying's Wings and Things told police that Haibo Jiang, also known as Jimmy Ying, choked him until he passed out.
A Good Samaritan died Wednesday while trying to assist the driver of a tractor trailer who got stuck in the snow.
Viewers sent in photos from the snowfall around Western New York.
The Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office says a tractor trailer crashed on Route 39, in the Town of Eagle.