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School board delays decision on failing schools

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

The Buffalo School Board postponed a decision Wednesday night on the future of four city schools Albany has ordered closed. The issue brought a huge crowd to the school board meeting that was held at the Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performing Arts School. 

After talks with Albany in the morning, the board met Wednesday night before an audience mostly interested in approval of the plans put together by teams from East, Lafayette, Bennett and Martin Luther King to re-start the schools.

On advice from Interim Schools Superintendent Donald Ogilvie and some complaints from Albany about the plan, the decision was delayed.

After the audience left, the board started fighting over a racist e-mail which is circulating and Board Member Sharon Belton Cottman forwarded to others. Board Member Jay McCarthy backed by Member Larry Quinn wanted that referred to the Ethics Committee.
Later on, the board fought over Board Member Carl Paladino's business dealings with charter schools. Paladino says he doesn't own Ellicott Development and there is no conflict of interest. Eventually, the board majority just adjourned the meeting with some issues undecided.

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.