Buffalo School Board seeks funding increase from city

Feb 6, 2017

The Buffalo Public School District is reaching out to the city for a financial boost. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says the leader school board wants the Mayor to provide a funding increase.

  

  

Credit WBFO file photo by Eileen Buckley

  

Buffalo School Board President Barbara Seals Nevergold tells WBFO News the district believes it is time for the city to “step up.”  Funding from the city tax base to the school district has remained flat over the last decade.

The District is anticipating a $162 million budget shortfall over the next four years. Efforts are underway to reduce that deficit and balance the budget. But Seals Nevergold points out as the city is experiencing a major renaissance in economic development, the district could use some added financial support.

“This has been an opportunity, I think, for the city to really now come in and commit to supporting the programs under the new education bargain,” Seals Nevergold said.

The Governor's proposed budget calls for a $13.5 million increase in state aid to the city school district.  But the District is hoping the state could provide another $40 million. The newly settled teachers’ contract comes with a hefty price tag—forcing the District revise its Four Year Financial Plan. Seals Nevergold said they haven't made a specific monetary request to the city, but she is hoping they give serious consideration to an increase.

“The city has seen tremendous growth, tremendous turnaround, and the education system is critical to maintaining that and enhancing it,” Seals Nevergold said, adding that it’s difficult to ask leadership in schools to make cuts and “do more with less.”

In the District's revised Four Year Financial Plan, there are some proposed cuts that would include a reduction in community school programs, cutting 20 physical education teachers and trimming back on the effort reduce class sizes.