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Parental support is key to educational success

Today’s news in all available media brought us information of the severe deficiencies of the Buffalo Public School system. Embarrassingly, we had to hear it from a “special consultant” from out of town.
It doesn’t take special studies to see the problem. Simply compare performance in all areas with private and diocesan schools in the same areas. Inner-city Catholic schools have a 100 percent graduation rate and they do it on extremely low budgets. No super modern technical assistance, old buildings, combination gym and cafeterias, poorly staffed libraries and not many special programs. Although the teachers are great, their salaries are lower than in the public schools.
Here’s the answer for our out-of-town consultant: Parental support is lacking and is not actively being pursued. Private school parents in the focus areas have the same problems as public school parents. They are also unemployed, on various benefits, have medical issues, etc., but it seems they show more dedication and responsibility to the simple rules of student success: get them to school and make them stay there, make sure they do their homework, attend the various meetings and most definitely support the efforts of the school staff.
So how about using some of the almost $1 billion school budget to do something with the parents or guardians to enforce their responsibilities?
Carmen A. Oliveri
Buffalo