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Buffalo schools expect to close budget gap

Mike Desmond/WBFO

Buffalo School Superintendent Kriner Cash projected a positive outlook at Wednesday's school board session. He says the fiscal picture is good and the academic picture is better for his district.

Cash says his Education Bargain has done well for the district because it's been well-managed financially.  At this time, the district doesn't have a balanced budget.  Cash says he will have a plan ready for next Wednesday's school board meeting which will resolve a relatively small hole in next year's spending plan.

The state budget passed this week has been a boost.

"I want to applaud and commend our legislators for what they've done this year. I could see that they worked hard to give Buffalo the support they need, that we need for our high needs population of students," Cash said.

The system will get around $22 million more in foundation aid and potentially millions more in other categories of aid to a high-poverty district.

Cash also pointed to new metrics indicating a rise in student achievement. The most notable number is in the rise in graduation rates in the Buffalo district.

"We're up to 21 community schools. We started with 13. The people who are in community schools are very excited about it and they would like to see that growth even continue," Cash said.

"Maybe one day we will be a completely community school district. Who knows?"

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.