BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The three candidates for Buffalo mayor squared off Tuesday night for their third debate. They didn’t shy away from many of the hot button issues facing the city.
One of the topics on most Buffalonian’s minds is the ongoing crisis in the Buffalo Public School System. Tuesday night in downtown Buffalo, the two challengers went after Mayor Byron Brown for what they call his hands off approach to education.
Previously, Republican challenger, Sergio Rodriguez said he wanted the mayor's office to oversee the school system. He repeated that again Tuesday night.
Rodriguez said, “This is a model that has proven to work in New York City, they've seen a 19 percent increase in graduation rates in New York City since Michael Bloomberg took over in 2002. City of Yonkers, it has increased 10.4 percent in the graduation rate since mayoral control.”
Democratic challenger Bernie Tolbert feels the mayor should have some, but not all, of the power when it comes to schools.
Democratic challenger Bernie Tolbert said, “As mayor, I plan to hire a deputy-level mayor to serve with the sole responsibility of looking out for schools and children. I also seek to get more mayoral involvement. Not necessarily by taking full control, but by having the ability to appoint several members of the school board.”
Mayor Brown said he already has a deputy mayor in charge of education and touted his summer reading program and increase to school funding.
Brown said, “One of the first things that I did when I came into office as mayor is, I spent more money of Buffalo Public Schools. During my tenure, we have sent an additional $13 million dollars to the Buffalo Public Schools.”
This was the third debate for Buffalo mayor. The Democratic Primary is less than two weeks away, on September 10th.
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