Assemblywoman wants Mayor to take control of schools

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Finding a solution to Buffalo’s struggling public school system is no new battle, but Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes says a different approach is worth a try.

“I think if you give the Mayor control of who sits on the board, then he can be held accountable for the results, good or bad,” Peoples-Stokes told News 4.

Mayoral control of public schools is allowed in New York City until June. Peoples-Stokes says she not only wants that renewed, but wants to see Buffalo follow suit. She called for it during the budget process.

Of course, her idea hasn’t been met with open arms from everyone.

“The mayor has no business trying to pry into that activity. The people have spoken, they spoke last May,” said School Board Member Carl Paladino.

He admitted the system doesn’t work, but he said the solution can’t be reached from within the Mayor’s office.

Paladino told News 4 he believes the lawmakers pushing for mayoral control in Buffalo Public Schools have alternative motives.

News 4 spoke to Mayor Byron Brown about the issue in March. He wasn’t gunning for control then, but he said he’d welcome the change if that’s what people wanted.

“I’m not looking for control. I’m looking for collaboration,” he said.

Assemblywoman Peoples-Stokes said there’s a lot of options to the legislation, if it were to be drafted by state lawmakers.

“It could be sunset after 10 years like New York City, it would be sunset after five years, it could be sunset after three years. It depends on how things go during the negotiation process,” she said.

Governor Cuomo would have to sign off on mayoral control for Buffalo Public Schools in order for any action to be taken, and Peoples-Stokes believes he will.

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