Proposals made for Bennett and East high schools

Jan 23, 2015

With the Buffalo School Board less than a week away from deciding the future of four city schools, two of them were making that final pitch for support Thursday night.

The front of East High School in Buffalo.
Credit WBFO News file photo

On Monday, the pitches will be from charter schools seeking to take over all or part of some regular public schools. Albany has ordered the closings and re-starts of Martin Luther King, East, Lafayette and Bennett.

Administrators and teachers reacted by putting together their own plans for changing their buildings, with East choosing to plan around the jobs on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO News

Charter schools have made proposals for three of the buildings. But Bennett Assistant Principal Martin Lyonga warned against charters. 

"Charter schools are here to kill the public schools. That fails the entire public. School buildings were closed. Money that was coming in from the federal government was immensely reduced," said Lyonga.

Lyonga told a crowd in Bennett his former public schools dropped from 18,000 to 8,000 in six years. He didn't identify the Flint, Michigan schools where he formerly worked.

Two different charter schools have made proposals for taking all or part of Bennett and will explain their plans on Monday.