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Parents seek receiver for Buffalo schools

Some Buffalo Public Schools parents, including the head of the district’s parent advisory group, are calling for a takeover of the district by a special master or receiver appointed by the federal courts or the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.

They have filed complaints with the State Education Department and the civil rights divisions of the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education. The parents allege that the district has repeatedly failed to follow state and federal laws involving the rights of parents to transfer their children out of failing schools.

They also accuse the district of failing to provide adequate services for English language learners, failing to address the needs of special education students and failing to address the disproportionate impact of suspensions on black male students.

“Parents are completely fed up,” said Samuel L. Radford III, president of the District Parent Coordinating Council, in a written release.

“The on-going irreparable harm that is being done is criminal and the local School Board and Administration is clearly not able to adequately or effectively address the myriad of issues.”

He called for “immediate intervention by an independent third party with the proper authority... to bring about education reforms that our children so badly deserve and are entitled (to).” He added that the School Board “must be abolished” and a special master or receiver appointed.

The parents scheduled a 2 p.m. press conference Wednesday at the CAO Masten Resource Center, 1423 Fillmore Ave., where they will be joined by representatives from charter and Catholic schools who can offer immediate options to students in failing city schools.