Bill to move Buffalo school board elections clears NYS Legislature

Jun 21, 2019

After longstanding pressure by local advocates, the Buffalo school board elections may soon be moved from May to November. Both houses of the New York State Legislature passed a bill supporting the change on Thursday.

The Assembly passed an earlier version of the bill on June 13. It was then amended to make clear that current and newly-elected board members will be allowed to serve out their full terms, and the Senate passed the revised bill at the tail end of the legislative session.

The bill will now be delivered to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, who will decide whether to veto the move or sign it into law.

Advocates from the local Change the Date Coalition argued that moving the school board elections will help increase voter turnout, save money and strengthen the democratic process. The Buffalo Common Council also passed a unanimous home-rule resolution supporting the move.

Opponents to the change, including the Buffalo Teachers Federation, argued that aligning the Board of Education elections with the general election will make it unnecessarily political.