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Cash begins reshaping Buffalo schools

WBFO News File Photo

Buffalo Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash has started major structural changes in the system. Some of the initiatives include more online education and plans for more community schools.

Plans range from more reading and math in early grades to longer class days for many students to a better relationship with teachers.

"We're going to be fiscally responsible as we roll these priorities out," Cash said. 

"A couple of board members are absolutely correct that this is not an accretive situation. We have to cut something or take away something in order to move these priorities forward."

Cash says the school system isn't very efficient and savings will help pay for changes like smaller lower elementary grades to push reading and math.

Legal costs are also mounting as the board bargains with the BTF for a teacher contract.
"We knew in the beginning this was going to be an expensive process," said Board Member Jay McCarthy. 

"For us to just back out of it a this point would make no sense because we are not giving our teachers the stability of a contract to go into those buildings and teach the kids every day and I think that's what has to be considered right here."

Board Member Larry Quinn says if there isn't a contract in a month, the board should break an agreed-upon silence and report what it has proposed and what the union has proposed.

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.