King’s aim is way off in offering a better choice
State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr.’s announcement about possibly closing Lafayette and East high schools and the denial of federal improvement funds is absurd.
It’s apparent that King disregarded the distinct problems the schools have in his scathing assessment. For example, 200 additional students came to Lafayette last year. Most of the students are English language learners. At East, the number of students with disabilities significantly exceeds the 17 percent per school maximum.
King’s “unprecedented” directive for the district to enter into an agreement with the Board of Cooperative Educational Services is questionable. BOCES would either be the provider of career and vocational programs or lead administrators for the schools.
Unlike suburban school districts, Buffalo would not receive a state subsidy to offset costs. Core academic classes are not offered at BOCES career centers.
Career and vocational options should be funded by the state and available to the district student body. The commissioner’s selective mandate somewhat leans towards a relegation rather than an expansion of student choice.
Katherine Massey Buffalo