Will The City Take Over The Buffalo School District

02.28.14 | Bob Price

Rumors were swirling at Wednesday night's meeting of the Buffalo School board of a possible city takeover of the district.

The idea of a city takeover came from Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown while speaking at a meeting where he talked about a wide range of options for ways to fix the school system.

"I think all options should be on the table," Mayor Brown told WBEN on Thursday. "Parents, teachers, business leaders, and other educational stakeholders should be looking at every option to improve the educational outcomes and graduation rates of our children."

However, Brown says that he is not actively looking to take over the district.

"I am not seriously looking to move in one particular direction or another, but I think it's important for me as Mayor to be part of this public debate and this public dialog to find strategies and solutions to some of the concerns and frustrations that people have about the operation of the Buffalo Public Schools."

The Mayor said that if the community starts to agree that a city takeover of schools would be favorable, he would start to think about the idea more seriously.

Meanwhile, one school board member has already spoken out against the idea of a city takeover.

"It would be probably just a continuation of the nonsense that we're seeing right now," said School Board member Carl Paladino. Paladino added that a freely elected school board is the "best way" to run the district. Paladino's comments represent a change in thinking for him, Paladino had previously said that he would welcome a State control board to oversee the School Board.

Buffalo Schools Superintendent Pamela Brown says that she isn't paying attention to any talk of a potential takeover. "I know of some models like that throughout the country, some have seen success and some have not seen so much success," Superintendent Brown said. "It depends on what this community and I guess what the legislature wants to see for the future of this district."