Focus on Education
7:00 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Buffalo schools dealing with $50 million budget gap

Superintendent Pamela Brown says there are some "tough decisions" to be made about Buffalo's public schools because the district has a large budget hole to fill.

For the 2014-2015 fiscal year, Brown says the district is faced with a deficit of nearly $50 million. She says options include closing buildings not in use and co-locating one or more schools because some, she says, have a "significant number of vacant seats."

Superintendent Pamela Brown discusses the district's budget hole.
Superintendent Pamela Brown discusses the district's budget hole.
Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News

"If the floor plan lends itself to having two separate schools that are able to maintain their own identity and that will not have their programs or their student's success placed at risk, then we look at the possibility of placing those two schools in the same building," Brown said Thursday.
 
As for teacher layoffs, the super says "all of that is to be determined as we engage in budget discussions and make decisions."

In the meantime Brown says she is hopeful Albany will increase funding.

"We certainly are talking with our local legislators and indicating the need for additional funding understanding that the funding levels have really not increased significantly from the state for some time, or from the city," Brown said.  

The Superintendent says the Board of Education has until May 12 to come up with solutions and finalize the budget.