It's school board election day for Erie County's 27 suburban school districts and all 10 Niagara County districts. Voters will be asked to cast their ballots to determine who will be on their school boards and to approve budgets and propositions.
Wait. You didn't know?
Well, lucky for you, our reporters have been doing their homework. So here's our handy study guide of The Buffalo News' comprehensive coverage of today's vote. Read the summaries and click on the links for the full article. And make sure to come back tonight to buffalonews.com for live, interactive election results. Most polls close at 9 p.m.
Your cram session begins... now:
- School districts were able to take a budget breather this year because of the restoration of state aid -- an increase of $1.5 billion statewide. That meant that although the tax caps were especially low this year - in minus territory for some districts - none of the districts in the regions needed to go over the limit, which would have required a super-majority of voters to approve budgets.
- 114 people are running for 82 school boards seat in Erie and Niagara counties' 37 districts. After a year in which New York State came through with more school aid and sent a message that the tests that prompted out-out protests, the candidates seem a little more optimistic about the state of education across New York.
- A look at the most intriguing races in this year's school board elections.
You can see a breakdown of the budget and click on the profiles of the candidates in your district right here:
We also took in-depth looks at the races in three districts:
- Lancaster - It's the fight over the Redskins again in Lancaster where the lingering bitterness over the decision to end the use of the name has evolved into a toxic climate on the current fragmented school board. At stake in Tuesday's vote is majority control over the board. If the two candidates backed by the pro-Redskins faction are elected, that side would have a 4-3 edge.
- Williamsville -- Tuesday's vote could shift more power to teachers. The teachers' association has endorsed three candidates who are public school teachers in other districts.
- Ken-Ton -- Preparing to close three schools and reeling from the loss of millions in annual tax revenue from the closing of the coal-fired Huntley plant, the district is digging its way out.