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Mayor's proposed budget looks to tackle school attendance

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The City of Buffalo puts more than $70 million into the school system every year and this year it's contributing a little more to put staffers to work ensuring that kids show up.

Buffalo Public Schools have a serious problem with low attendance, right down to kindergarten. Some blame the abolition of attendance teachers years ago.

Mayor Brown says his proposed city budget calls for $171,000 to pay for two attendance teachers.  As Brown delivered his proposed spending plan Wednesday at City Hall, he told reporters that M&T Bank will pay for third attendance teacher.

Schools Superintendent Pamela Brown says raising attendance is a priority, but doesn't know if the district can hire more attendance teachers on its budget.

"We are still in our..budget planning process and so that's something that we certainly are taking into consideration. But no definite decisions have been made yet. We are certainly pleased that the city wants to partner with the school district and support an area that is so important to us," said Superintendent Brown.

Attendance is also an issue with the Buffalo Teachers Federation. Some of teachers performance is based on attendance levels, so the teachers union wants more push to get the students in their desks.


Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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