Buffalo Public School District Must Change Transfer Policy

June 7, 2013 Updated Jun 7, 2013 at 12:24 AM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

June 7, 2013 Updated Jun 7, 2013 at 12:24 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW)-Some Buffalo Public School students in under performing schools say it's impossible to transfer to a better ranked school within the district and the state agrees. Monday, the New York State Education Department ruled the district is not in compliance with state and federal requirements that allows students to transfer out of a priority or a persistently low achieving school into a good standing one. Last year, only 165 of 502 student requests ended in a successful transfer to another school. The Buffalo District Parent Coordinating Council claims 95 students were refused because a seat wasn't available but the school district claims all but 59 student requests were accommodated.

Superintendent Dr. Pamela Brown released this statement:

"Since August of 2012, we have been striving to meet state guidelines for School Choice. In order to be able to consider as many requests as possible, we extended the deadline for the submission of applications. Out of the initial 502 student applications for transfer to Schools in Good Standing, there remain 59 active applications due to limited capacity. We are currently reviewing the information provided by SED and determining how to best address their expectations for the development of a Corrective Action Plan for the 2013-14 school year. Our goal is to eliminate the need for Public School Choice applications by ensuring that all of our schools are Schools in Good Standing or Reward Schools.

The district has until June 30th to come up with a new plan for student transfers. School leaders will be mailing out letters to eligible students later this summer.

"We want parents to know if you're not satisfied with the school your child is and they're in a failing school, you have the right to request a transfer to a school in good standing," said Samuel Radford of the District Parent Coordinating Council.