Kennedy makes his case for mayoral control of schools

May 22, 2015

Legislation that would bring mayoral control to Buffalo schools is creating controversy. While acknowledging the plan's many criticisms, State Senator Tim Kennedy argues the move would bring greater accountability to the city's struggling education system.

"This bill would bring accountability back to an education system that has unfortunately come unhinged," Kennedy said during a morning interview with WBFO News. 

The introduction of the bill comes less than a year after a new majority, featuring Carl Paladino and Larry Quinn, took control of the Buffalo School Board. Kennedy says the district's problems are decades in the making.

"This isn't about fighting an agenda," Kennedy said.

Part of the majority's agenda, includes support for charter schools.

That's not an issue "as long as charter schools are working," Kennedy said. Otherwise, charters can "put a drain on public education (funding)."

According to Kennedy, the change would be reviewed after two years and could be dropped if it's ineffective.

He says other cities have success with mayoral control and he's hoping for similar success in Buffalo.

"We're not going into this blindly."