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Parent ponders: Where's school receivership funding?

WBFO file photo by Eileen Buckley

A Buffalo Public school parent leader is asking where is promised money for schools under receivership.  WBFO'S Focus on Education Reporter Eileen Buckley says the receivership law was to provide $75-million statewide.

"It seems as if the state is sincere about providing the support and resources that the schools need to actually show improvement," said Larry Scott, Co-chair of the Buffalo Parent Teacher Organization.

Credit WBFO file photo by Eileen Buckley
Larry Scott is Co-chair of the Buffalo Parent Teacher Organization.

When receivership was announced for 25-struggling city schools, parents were hopeful the funding and new power provided to the city schools superintendent would allow those schools to rise out of low performance. 

But Scott notes the funding has not arrived.

"I honestly don't know what the holdup is," responded Scott. "Class size is a major issue, for example at School #6 they have class sizes in elementary level of over 30-students with students that have a high amount of students with special education needs, ELL - English Language Learners, and so lowering class size is something that has been priority and that's been a part of those plans."

Initially it was reported that the five persistently struggling city schools would receive a substantial amount of state money.  

Credit WBFO file photo by Eileen Buckley
Buffalo Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash.

Meanwhile, Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash has been granted more power under receivership. 

State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia  imposed a receivership collective bargaining agreement at 15 Struggling Schools. 

Credit WBFO file photo by Eileen Buckley
Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore.

This provides Cash with more power to enforce contract changes, such as a longer school day, but a legal fight appears to be on the horizon. Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore tells WBFO News he will take it to the highest court.

"There's a provision in the United States Constitution it's called the contract impairment clause, which says basically you can't mess with somebody's contract. I will be challenging it all the way up to Supreme Court. 

Rumore said the BTF and New York State United Teachers continue a full review. Rumore said they expect to file a suit by mid-January.

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