Judge dismisses petitions for changes to art, music education in Buffalo schools


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Supreme Court Justice Frank Sedita, III, has sided with Buffalo Public Schools after teachers and parents petitioned for changes to art and music education in the district.

Legal action was filed last year. At the time, Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore said “For over a year, parents and teachers have, to no avail, sought to have the Buffalo School Board provide Buffalo secondary students with state-required art and music instruction/programs.”

MORE | Buffalo Teachers Federation takes legal action against Buffalo Public Schools citing lack of art and music education

On Thursday, Sedita dismissed and denied both petitions.

“A virtual appearance was held on December 10th, 2020, before Hon. Frank A. Sedita, III.  Assistant Legal Counsel Mary Scarpine and I appeared before Judge Sedita on two petitions before the Court that allege that the District is not in compliance with the Commissioner’s Regulations related to offering arts/music sequences at its high schools.   

The two petitions requested orders mandating the District to comply.  The District’s position before the court was that it is in compliance with the regulations, and that it is the responsibility of the Commissioner, not the Court, to enforce the regulations.   

Judge Sedita dismissed and denied both Petitions.   

The District is pleased by Judge Sedita’s decision, and we commend all of the difficult and thoughtful work that has gone into offering art and music to our students as an essential part of their cultural education.  As always, the Board and District are committed to providing equitable and robust opportunities for all of our children and families, including in the subjects of art and music. “

Buffalo Public Schools General Counsel Nathaniel Kuzma

Evan Anstey is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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