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Buffalo Public Schools get in on 'Hamilton,' snagging tickets for 200 students

A couple of hundred lucky students in the Buffalo Public Schools will get a chance at the hottest ticket in town.

The school district snapped up 200 tickets to the musical “Hamilton” at a discounted price of $78 per ticket for performances on Dec. 5 and 6 at Shea’s Performing Arts Center.

The cost was paid for through a federal academic enrichment grant that aims to offer more “well-rounded education opportunities to students by improving access to arts education and enrichment programming," according to a School Board resolution on the matter.

The award-winning musical about the nation’s first treasury secretary features a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B and Broadway.

Eighty tickets will be allotted to students involved in one of the My Brother’s Keeper programs, an initiative designed to intervene in the lives of boys and young men of color.

The other 120 will be distributed through the high schools and awarded to students based on an incentive program or through a lottery.

The Buffalo Board of Education approved the $15,600 expenditure Wednesday.

The only issue raised was by Larry Quinn, an at-large board member, who was concerned some of the tickets would end up getting scalped. He suggested the students be required to present their IDs at the will call box office to claim their tickets.

“This is a very hot ticket and you don’t want this being abused,” Quinn said.

In other business, the School Board:

  • Approved a new two-year contract with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority that will provide city high school students expanded hours of service and more access to public transit.
  • Heard an update from school leaders about the changes taking place at BUILD Academy on Fougeron Street, which was closed last year because of poor performance and reopened under new leadership this year as BUILD Community School. Under watch by the state Education Department, the district brought in consultant Yvonne Minor-Ragan as an independent monitor at the school, hired a new principal in Tanika Shedrick, turned over 60 percent of the staff at the school and partnered with the University at Buffalo’s Graduate School of Education to help institute best practices.

"We’re hearing nothing but good things and this work is hard,” said Superintendent Kriner Cash. “This school is going to go from worst to first in the fastest time that you can imagine.”

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