The back-to-school season began early for many Buffalo parents who want their children transferred out of the 45 struggling public schools in the city and into schools in good standing – all 11 of them.
The transfer request period runs until April 30, and Monday evening, representatives from the District Parent Coordinating Council and Buffalo ReformED kicked off a campaign to raise parents’ awareness of their right to apply for the transfers.
But completing the application is no guarantee that a child will be granted a transfer, as roughly 1,700 students found out last year.
About 2,200 students sought transfers last year from low-performing schools for the current school year – up from 500 in 2012 and 300 in 2011. It was the most transfer requests the district has received since the early 2000s, when the system was established. Only about 500 of the students who wanted out of failing schools this year received a transfer.
Monday, the parent council and Buffalo ReformED set up shop at the Market Arcade downtown to help people complete the applications.
The kickoff event started with a screening of the documentary “We the Parents” that chronicles the efforts of parents in Compton, Calif., who lead an attempt to take over their failing public elementary school.
The parent group is also featured in the documentary, but public school officials here were not impressed.
“I appreciate the DPCC and Buffalo ReformED as valuable organizations that support and empower parents,” Will Keresztes, chief of student support for the district, said in a statement. “But their belief that Buffalo could be Compton, Calif., is disturbing. I have faith that parents will question their campaign to seek 10,000 student transfers as a strategy for improving student outcomes. It’s a misleading suggestion to parents.”
Parents can apply for school transfers online at www.buffaloschools.org or in person at Central Registration, 33 Ash St.