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Parents need to demand good schools for children

For years now, the Buffalo Public School District has been unable to submit acceptable corrective action plans for its lowest-performing schools. The latest debacle with Bennett High School means that 135 ninth-graders will scramble to find a new school for the upcoming year. The unfortunate reality is that there are no seats in high schools in good standing.

The most glaring omission in all turnaround plans is that parents continue to be left out of the process for their creation, a requirement by the state for approval. This is a systemic problem and permeates the district. Parents are an afterthought in all decision-making.

One way for parents to be heard is by demanding that their children be placed in schools in good standing. By law, the district must honor a parent’s request. The fact that the district does not have enough space in schools in good standing cannot legally be used as an excuse to not move a child. The district must create capacity.

How long will it take before the district and the School Board realize that no state approval of turnaround plans will happen without meaningful parent input? Parents of all 135 Bennett ninth-graders should immediately exercise their legal right by demanding that their children be placed in schools in good standing, as should the parents of the children in other failing schools.

Amy Friedman


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