New School Board Members Shake Things Up

May 8, 2013 Updated May 8, 2013 at 8:05 AM EDT


May 8, 2013 Updated May 8, 2013 at 8:05 AM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) - Carl Paladino has been elected to the Buffalo School Board. He is expected to make those board meetings quite interesting. He promises reform but it depends on the support he gets from the other board members.

Paladino has been one of the biggest critics of the Buffalo School District. He believes that the quality of education in any urban setting, like the Queen City, is directly linked to things like housing prices, unemployment and jobs, along with poverty and crime.

Paladino's more controversial ideas involve at-risk students from low-income homes. He is suggesting a public boarding school model where students receive not only education in the classroom but also mental, physical and social programs in the community.

His first target will be down the Thruway at officials in Albany.

""I don't agree with teacher mandates from the state. They are garbage. They come from a bunch of faceless people sitting in Albany making decisions on what happens in our classrooms in Buffalo. It just doesn't work for me. We need to decentralize. We need to put it back in the hands of the responsible principals who know what their job is and who will be held responsible for getting the job done," Paladino said.

Paladino said he would also go line by line through the school budget. He wants to improve the district overall, while also saving taxpayers money. Bringing back community schools is also on his radar.

Paladino will join two new faces on the board and three incumbents. Theresa Harris-Tigg takes over the East District. Sharon Belton Cottman will represent the Ferry District. In the West, James Sampson will take over.

In the Central District, current Board President Mary Ruth Kapsiak keeps her position on the board. Jason McCarthy wins the North District seat. Paladino will represent the Park District of Buffalo.

Voter turnout was also one of the highest Buffalo has seen for this type of election in years. More than 12,000 people came out to vote. That number is double the amount of residents who came out at the last school board election.