THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK 

   Commissioner of Education     

President of the University of the State of New York  89 Washington Avenue, Room 111                                  Albany, New York 12234       

                          E‐mail: commissioner@mail.nysed.gov                           Twitter:@JohnKingNYSED           Tel: (518) 474‐5844          Fax: (518) 473‐4909

September 3, 2013

Dr. Pamela C. Brown, Superintendent Buffalo Public Schools 712 City Hall Buffalo, NY 14202 Dear Superintendent Brown: Thank you for submitting the proposed Buffalo Public School’s (BPS) Educational Partnership Organization (EPO) contracts for Buffalo School of Technology, East High School, Lafayette High School, and School 80. Under Education Law § 211-e(1), “[t]he board of education of a school district, and the chancellor of the city school district of the city of New York, subject to the approval of the Commissioner, shall be authorized to contract, for a term of up to five years, with an educational partnership organization pursuant to this section to intervene in a school designated by the Commissioner as a persistently lowest-achieving school, consistent with federal requirements, or a school under registration review.” Pursuant to the statute, with the approval of the Commissioner, districts may enter into a contract with an EPO under which the EPO assumes the powers and duties of a “superintendent of schools” for purposes of, among other things, implementing the educational program of the school, which includes, but is not limited to, budgetary decisions, staffing, student discipline decisions, decisions on curriculum, and determining the daily schedule and school calendar (Education Law § 211-e[2]). In addition, Education Law § 211-e(3) gives EPOs the authority to exercise all powers of a “superintendent of schools” with respect to various employment decisions. I am pleased to inform you that I am granting my approval to the Buffalo Public Schools to enter into contracts with the following Educational Partnership Organizations pursuant to Education Law § 211-e to serve at the schools indicated for the 2013-14 school year: Schools East High School Lafayette High School Buffalo Elementary School of Technology School 80 EPO Johns Hopkins Talent Development Johns Hopkins Talent Development Research to Practice Westminster Foundation

As noted above, this approval is limited to the Board of Education’s authority to enter into contracts with EPOs pursuant to Education Law § 211-e as described herein. In addition, this approval may be revoked by the Commissioner of Education at any time, and is subject to the following terms and conditions: (1) that the requirements of both the contracts and Education Law § 211-e are being complied with at all times; (2) that the contracts are not amended, modified, terminated or canceled for any reason without first obtaining the Commissioner’s approval; (3) that there will be no assignments of, or material changes made to, the contracts, including changes to their scope and/or changes to the deliverables required by each contract, without the Commissioner’s prior written approval; and (4) that the performance expectations and/or benchmarks for school operations and academic outcomes described in each contract or as established for the school by the Commissioner pursuant to Part 100.18 of Commissioner’s Regulations are being achieved. I also grant approval to Buffalo Public Schools to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Erie 1 Board of Cooperative Educational Services to provide career and technical education programs to students at East and Lafayette High Schools for the 2013-2014 school year. Under separate cover, you will be informed of the status of your School Under Registration Review plans for East High School and Lafayette High School, and your School Improvement Grant applications for School 80 and Buffalo Elementary School of Technology. Thank you for your continued efforts to increase excellent academic options for Buffalo Public School students. Sincerely,

John B. King, Jr. Commissioner c: Deborah Sykes David Chamberlain Toni Dunbar Charles Hiteshew Judy Elliott Ken Slentz Ira Schwartz

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