Buffalo Public Schools receive record funding, state and federal aid

Posted at 11:57 PM, May 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-27 23:57:34-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Buffalo Public Schools are set to receive a record $814 million in funding from the state. That's a year-over-year increase of more than $76 million, or about 10%, according to the district.

Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash said the three priorities are students mastering content, improving graduation rates, and being college and workforce ready.

When asked if money will go towards improving attendance, Cash said programs will draw students in.

“What draws kids to school is all of the great programming that we’re gonna have, more advanced courses, more athletics than they’ve ever seen before, beginning in 5th grade with what we call modified sports programs, more arts and music in every school,” Cash said.

BPS District Parent Coordinating Council (DPCC) President Wendy Mistretta said the money can provide needed support after a tough year.

“With this money we can meet these additional needs in a way that’s truly meaningful and impactful for all of our families,” Mistretta said.

The group wants more funding for parent liaisons and parent resource centers in schools.

“I really feel like our families are going to, as they’re coming back in to our schools, are really gonna need these parents that are in the building to help them transition back in and provide whatever support or assistance they might need, and whatever resources need to be in the parent rooms," Mistretta said.

Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) Co-Chair Lisa Jacobs-Watson said SEPAC wants the money to go to more staff training, especially those who work with special education students; inclusive activities, like unified sports; and technology that assists with learning.

“If there is an assistive device where a pen is available, or a computerized device that's reading to the child so that the child can focus more, anything like that, any type of technology based assistive devices would actually be you know, great, a wonderful investment,” said Jacobs-Watson.

Cash said the district is considering an online academy, something DPCC wants to see too.

The district's holding community meetings on how to spend federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act, parents can also fill out an online survey.