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State group for school boards holds meeting here Convention returning after seven-year detour

More than 2,500 people will be converging on Buffalo this week for the New York State School Boards Association's annual convention.

The convention returns to the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center after a seven-year detour to other parts of the state, including the past few years in New York City.

School board members from across the state will be joined by more than 200 school superintendents for workshops, panel discussions and speeches from Thursday through Sunday.

"There's a host of topics to be discussed, from the tax cap to Common Core Standards to new cut scores for Regents exams, evaluations for teachers and principals, bullying and Race to the Top," said David Albert, a spokesman for the state group. "It's a comprehensive range of topics."

Those who attend can choose from more than 100 sessions in nine topic areas, including school improvement, employee relations, budget and facilities, student achievement and technology.

Events get under way on Thursday with several preconvention events, including a daylong meeting of the Big 5 school districts and a daylong law conference. Consuelo Castillo-Kickbusch, formerly the highest-ranking Hispanic woman in the combat-support field of the U.S. Army, will deliver the keynote speech at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Highlights on Friday will include state Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. discussing education reform initiatives at 10 a.m.

At 2:15 p.m. King will join several other state leaders for a round-table discussion about the state of public education. Others on the panel will include Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, as well as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's top education advisers, Deputy Secretary for Education David Wakelyn and Assistant Secretary for Education Katie Campos.

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