Say Yes to Education Buffalo – Operating Committee – May 17, 2018

I’m trying to get into the swing of things with representing at these meetings. Today served as a golden opportunity to stand up for principles in prioritization. My second grader also had an awards ceremony. Since he loves me and I like to keep it that way, my attendance at the Op. Comm. meeting was brief.

The agenda included a discussion about Summer Camps and the District Disproportionality Study (which I missed).

Summer Camps

Several years ago, the Buffalo School District, The City of Buffalo, and Say Yes signed an agreement for seven years to support Summer Camps at $500,000. The agreement included a plan to shift full funding responsibilities to the district in 2018.

The camps create a safe space for children to spend their summer mornings. With cuts in funding at schools to art, music and experiences, the camps also serve to elevate the quality of our students’ summer. The District’s own testing of students who attended Summer Camps in 2017 demonstrated the prevention of summer learning loss and – for some – even an uptick in performance.

Personally, I’m disappointed and struggle to understand the District’s prioritization on this. They chose to cut promised funding in half for the Summer of 2018. Mr. Rust (Say Yes), for his part, has worked to close the funding gap through an anonymous donation and a small sum of unused organizational funds. I fear this will lead to the further abdication of the District’s obligation at the expense of its students.

Work is still ongoing to restore the funding, including a suggestion to use money captured from unfilled district positions to close the remaining gap.

At this point, I excused myself and stepped out.

Simon received an award for Reading.

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