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School concerns raised at Common Council hearing

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Members of the public and of the Common Council had a chance to sound off Thursday night about perceived problems in the city school system and in the proposed budget for next school year.

It was the annual Common Council school budget hearing, with the usual small turnout. But, those who turned out were very vocal about issues like buildings locked up in the afternoon, not enough gym teachers and no public vote in the process.

Carolette Meadows was there to complain about bus service.

"When my daughter goes to track four days a week, I have to catch a bus because I don't have a car. I catch three buses to go and pick here up," Meadows said. 

"Then on Fridays because she does track at Southside Elementary, not at her home school, I catch three buses to get her, two buses to get her to Southside and then we catch two buses to get home."

Council members sounded off about some of the same issues, including the high cost of the bus passes given to students and the need to improve vocational education because there are jobs in the booming local construction industry and economy.

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.