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Buffalo mayoral school control bill introduced to Assembly

ALBANY – Legislation giving the mayor of Buffalo control of the city’s school system has been introduced at the state Capitol, nearly a month after its sponsor originally intended to unveil the bill.

The “City of Buffalo School District Governance Reform Act” popped into the State Legislature’s bill-tracking service Thursday night.

For now, it has one sponsor – Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes, a Buffalo Democrat. The legislation has no co-sponsors from colleagues in her chamber.

And at least for the time being anyway, the legislation has no sponsor in the Senate. Sen. Timothy Kennedy, a Buffalo lawmaker who is a member of the largely powerless Senate Democratic conference, has said that he would sponsor the bill.

If passed and signed into law, the Peoples-Stokes bill would oust the current School Board members and let Mayor Byron W. Brown replace them with nine board members who would serve at his pleasure.

Brown also would have the power to hire a superintendent.