BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Despite a trip to Albany where Buffalo School District officials got one-on-one advice from State Education Department personnel, the transfer plan designed for some 2,200 students was again rejected by Commissioner John King.
On Wednesday, parents gathered outside Superintendent Dr. Pamela Brown's office to express their frustration with the lack of progress. The state has explicitly told the district that going forward, parents must have a say in the transfer plan to take students out of low-performing schools and put them in schools in good standing.
Sam Radford of the District Parent Coordinating Council said, "You are forcing them to go to a school against their will. They are asking you to do your job. They are asking the Board of Education to do their job and provide a seat for them.'
More than 2,200 families have applied for student transfers. Desiree Radford, a mother of a 15-year-old at Bennett High School, says gangs have damaged the learning environment, but her son has been denied a transfer to Hutch Tech.
"I can't send him back there because the education is very difficult for him to receive. The education that he needs, with so many distractions," she said.
The district has been ordered by the state to create four more schools in good standing by next September and to also find room for students from charter schools that are not making the grade.
Dr. Will Keresztes, Chief of Student Support Services, said, "We're going to make sure that the plan includes all of these new requests by the State Education Department, but also accounts for the charter school factor, and we'll make sure that the state gets a response by September 30th."
He says the ultimate goal is to improve existing schools so students won't have a need or desire to transfer.
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