Parent groups are demanding the City of Buffalo increase aid to Buffalo Public Schools. Both the Buffalo Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) and District Parent Coordinating Council (DPCC) plan to address the City Council Education Committee on the issue Thursday afternoon.
The parent groups argue that Buffalo provides the smallest percentage of aid of the 5 big city school districts in New York State. In a press release from the groups, it gave the example from 2015-16 when Buffalo provided 5.6% or $55,172,758 while Rochester provided its public schools with 13% or $106,993,215.
The City of Buffalo says it has consistently increased funding even though state aid to Buffalo has remained flat for the past four years.
According to a statement from Mayor Byron Brown, the Brown administration has provided Buffalo Public Schools with an additional $17.9 million since 2006. Mayor Brown went on to say that his administration and the Buffalo Common Council were early funders of the 'Say Yes' initiative.
This year in his State of City address, Mayor Brown promised another $1 million to the Board of Education and 'Say Yes.'
However, parents pushing for increased aid say the City needs to approve the school district's request for an additional $8.5 million because the City's contribution has stayed flat since 2006.
The Buffalo Public School District tells 7 Eyewitness News that it is working to finalize a new budget with hopes that NYS aid will increase. However, not knowing how much money is coming makes that process difficult.
The parent groups met with Mayor Brown who said afterwards that he is committed to finding additional funding for the schools, but at this point the amount is undetermined.
7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly talked with a member of the Parent-Teacher Organization and other parents about the issue. Ed has more in his reports.