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School board approves transfer plan

Chris Caya/WBFO News

The Buffalo Board of Education approved a plan Monday that will only accommodate a fraction of the students seeking a transfer.

Out of more than 2,200 applications received, the District's new plan only has room for an estimated 300 to 500 students seeking transfers from low-performing schools to schools "in good standing."

Chief of Student Support Services Will Keresztes says the reality is the district does not have enough available seats in schools in good standing. Keresztes says the plan approved Monday allows the board to start creating the capacity.

"I know folks are going to be disappointed because we can't do it all at once, but I can assure the public that we have a plan that will get us much closer over the next couple of years, and that's what the State Education Department expected today," Keresztes said.

Keresztes says the plan, approved by a vote of six to three, also allows the District to begin discussions that would allow Buffalo Public School students in underperforming schools to transfer to charter schools and schools in suburban districts.

District Parent Coordinating Council Vice President Bryon McIntyre is calling the new school choice plan "a farce." He says it's wrong for the District to explore the possibility of allowing students in underperforming schools to transfer to charter schools or suburban districts.  

"There are numerous options. I'm not being pro-charter, anti-charter, pro-union. I'm pro-children and this stuff is not helping our children. It's maintaining the status quo and I'm tired of it," McIntyre said.

The plan must first be approved by the State Education Department.

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