School board weighs budget options

Mar 12, 2015

With budget season approaching, Buffalo school board members must decide on how to best utilize the district's limited resources. Additional spending for physical education is one consideration.

School board members listen as speakers push for more spending on physical education.
Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news

With at least one city school board member saying he won't vote for a budget without additional P-E teachers, Interim Superintendent Donald Ogilvie reminded the meeting in Waterfront School that any district programs have to be paid for and there aren't enough dollars for current programs. Improved physical education was backed by parents, parent organization and, the Buffalo Teachers Federation.

Jessica Bauer Walker is health committee co-chair for the District Parent Coordinating Council. Bauer Walker said the district needs 30 more phys-ed teachers.
                  
"We're not just a little bit out of compliance. We're a lot out of compliance," Bauer Walker said. 

"Half of our children in some grades are overweight. At least a third of our students are overweight in all the grades. Kids are being labeled as having behavior issues, even Special Education, just because they need to move. I mean as this thing goes, we're seeing five year olds forced to sit for 90 minutes. I can barely sit for 90 minutes."

District Medical Director Doctor Steven Lana said healthier students will learn better and students who don't get enough exercise aren't healthy.