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WAITING FOR SCHOOL CHOICE

The Buffalo School Board acted correctly in encouraging the district to move forward on plans to offer parental choice in schools. The board showed the appropriate concern that momentum may be lost if the plan is not implemented.

That said, the September 2002 goal seems reasonable. School choice will have to be implemented in stages, likely starting at the high school level, as issues such as zoning are sorted out. Therefore, the public should be patient, even though we understand their impatience. They're anxious. They want to be able to send their children shorter distances to school. And there are some parents who would would like to have their kids take advantage of some programs that may require longer distances to travel.

But this is a big undertaking. School choice will mean enrolling as many as 80 percent of the city's 46,000 students in their first-choice schools. That magnitude of change is never easily implemented.

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