Buffalo in the ’90s: Mayor looks for more say in schools

By Steve Cichon

Since the current system of an elected school board has been in place, every Buffalo mayor has asked for the power to appoint members to the board in an effort to save struggling city schools. Mayor Byron W. Brown took it a step further, speaking this February (2014) of possible mayoral control of Buffalo Schools.

In 1999, Mayor Anthony M. Masiello wanted to name two members of the board.

Masiello asks Legislature for power to appoint two school board members

“The mayor announced his plan Tuesday from the city’s new telecommunications center at City Hall during a joint news conference with the co-sponsors of an education reform bill that would grant the mayor that and more when it comes to managing city schools.”

In 1974, the Buffalo School Board transitioned from an appointed body to an elected one. Even as the change was occurring, experts weren’t sure it would solve all the problems. Gary Stranges’ article in The News makes clear that many involved in seeking the switch from an appointed Board of Education to an elected body knew the issues facing school leaders were decades old.