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Regent Collins offers her 'wish list' for city schools

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

New York State Regent Catherine Fisher Collins is working to promote her ideas that she believes could help struggling Buffalo Public Schools. WBFO's Focus on Education Reporter Eileen Buckley caught up at with Collins to discuss her efforts. 

"Now this is my wish list and I keep talking about it as I go around and ask to speak," said Collins.

Regents Collins would like to see city school buildings used as a tool to support students and parents beyond the normal school day.

"That I would like to see our schools open until 7 'o'clock every day. The could be the hub of the community.  These schools could have kids come in, help them with their homework," said Collins. "Help them with their homework, give them some food, put them on a bus and send them home."      

But Collins realizes keeping buildings open could be a difficult sell to the teachers union.
 "We need to first give those individuals, who are with the unions, the first opportunity on any job we have in the schools," said Collins.

Collins is also working closely with  newly named State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia to make changes in struggling city schools.  Collins said she wants to get as 'much attention' for the city school district as possible.  Collins notes the commissioner is dealing with a total of 145-persistently struggling schools statewide.  

"And so she has to deal with each one of those districts through out the state and come up with plans to help them as well," stated Collins.