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School parents turn to Albany in demand for more transfers

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Albany is looking at a Buffalo schools plan to allow parents to transfer their kids out of failing schools and into good ones. The problem is, the city has few schools in good standing.
For more than a decade, parents have been able to ask for a transfer from a failing school to a school in good standing. Last school year, the district rejected 200 transfers, saying there was no room in a good school.

Albany told the district that wasn't good enough and it has to find a way to ensure every student who wants out of a bad school can get into a good school.

District Parent Coordinating Council President Sam Radford says there is a plan to make sure there will be room for shifts.

"They said that they are going to create some new schools, some district-sponsored charter schools. They say there are going to put some schools within schools. They're saying they are going to maybe expand seats at the current schools that are in good standing. They are saying they potentially may set up agreements with suburban school districts," Radford says.

Radford says the transfer option is a good thing but it also means the district has to make all schools better or else there will be many, many transfers.

There's a July 19 deadline for transfer applications but the DPCC says it wants an extension to July 30 because the district was weeks late in telling parents of the transfer option.

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.