On Wednesday night, a landslide vote by the Buffalo School Board put the fate of East and Lafayette High Schools in the hands of Johns Hopkins University and the Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES).
But will the state get behind the plan?
At the special school board meeting held at Buffalo Visual and Performing Arts School protesters rallied outside, worried about the fate of East and Lafayette following a mandate from State Education Commissioner John King directing BOCES to take over both schools. It is a decision protesters along with Buffalo Teacher Federation President Phil Rumore are fighting against.
"He hasn't set foot in that school this year to see what's going on," said Rumore.
Superintendent Pamela Brown has been working against an August 12th deadline set by King to come up with a plan to prepare BOCES to take over.
Board members voted eight to one to allow Johns Hopkins University, which already started a partnership with the schools, to manage both campuses while allowing students to also take supplemental career training programs through BOCES.
"We stood up to the state and we let the state know you're just not going to push us around," said Dwayne Kelly a former student at East High School.
Park District board member Carl Paladino was the only board member to vote against the plan.
Before the vote he asked about the potential of closing both schools and sending students to other schools in the district.
But for a group of Lafayette teachers the vote was a step in the right direction.
"Lafayette has another breath of life. We've gotten used to, over the last five years, having to really fight and hold on. We know there's great things going on in the building," explained Patrick Foster a teacher at Lafayette High School.
There is still one more hurdle. The vote must be approved by the State but some are now calling for Commissioner King's removal.
"Step down or get kicked down I don't care get him out of there," said Kelly.
The plan would cost anywhere from $2.2 million to $5.2 million.
The district will finalize the plan in the coming days and submit it to the state for approval by August 12th.