Wednesday, April 08, 2009


From the April Issue of Urban Educator, the publication of the Council of Great City Schools.

New York’s Buffalo Public Schools will receive $37 million from the federal stimulus bill that was signed by President Obama in February

Buffalo Schools Superintendent James Williams recently announced that the district will use the money it is scheduled to receive to extend the school day and school year at 34 district schools.

Williams plans to expand the school day by one hour and to expand half-day summer classes to full-day sessions at 34 schools that receive Title I funding. Currently, 17 district schools have a longer school day and school year. “In order to catch students up, we’re giving them more time with a structured curriculum, a good teacher and a good administrator,” said Williams in the Buffalo News. “I think we’re on to something good.”

The school system is scheduled to receive $24 million in Title I grant money and $13 million in Individuals with Disabilities Education grant money. Superintendent Williams said he will also use some of the funds from the federal stimulus package to implement professional development.


●● smf's 2¢: This is an upshot/outcome of of the CGCC/US Dept of Ed conference attended by Boardmember Flores-Aguilar and Cortines Chief-of-Staff Morris - where - as reported earlier - almost every major school district except LAUSD presented their plans for spending the Stimulus Money.

  • Again, remember the primary stated American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) Stimulus Goal for Education is Spend Quickly to Save and Create Jobs*.
  • Layoffs, RIFs, rightsizing and retroactive reactionary reform are antithetical to that goal.

*ARRA Guiding Principles

(from the US Department of Education (USED) presentation to the Council of Great City Schools at the Annual Legislative/Policy Conference, March 14-17, Washington, DC)

1. Spend Quickly to Save and Create Jobs

2. Ensure Transparency and Accountability

3. Thoughtfully Invest One-time Funds

4. Advance Effective Reforms

Note: The first and fourth principles may be at odds with one another over the

life of the funds.

●● smf's 2¢X2: The Principles and Note above are directly from the USED  …but also note the listing of priorities (1-2-3-4) and the qualifier ‘over the life of the funds’.

  • These is very real dispute over whether The Cortines Plan of 1999 (Decentralization) meets the criteria of “effective reform”.
  • There is little dispute that the Cortines 100 Day Plan (Right sizing) fails to meet that criteria.

Urban Ed April_09

The April Urban Educator is also online.  Here’s the link:

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