THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

Office of P-12 Education Office of Accountability Title I, School and Community Services Room 365 EBA Tel. (518) 473-0295 / Fax (518) 486-1762

September 20, 2013 Dr. Pamela Brown, Superintendent Buffalo Public Schools 712 City Hall Buffalo, NY 14202-3375 Dear Dr. Brown: I am writing to you regarding the State Education Department’s (SED) preliminary review of your district’s submission of the required District Comprehensive Improvement Plan (DCIP) and accompanying School Comprehensive Education Plans (SCEPs) as well as a complaint that we have received from Samuel Radford III, President of the District Parent Coordinating Council (DPCC), alleging that despite the fact that Buffalo Public Schools (BPS) Board Regulation 31.70 makes the DPCC the official parent representative group for the district, the DPCC was not consulted prior to BPS submitting these plans. We have reviewed the BPS DCIP/SCEP submission and find no evidence that the DPCC was consulted. The three individuals who signed the DCIP consultation page as parent or community representatives were Irene Hauhesworth and Ina Ferguson, who represent parents through an organization called City Action, and Gayle Roberts, who appears to be a community resident. We have identified similar issues regarding lack of evidence that stakeholder groups were appropriately consulted in the development of SCEPs. A similar consultation issue was raised by Mr. Radford in a letter dated August 30, 2013, which was submitted in the BPS 2013-14 Annual Consolidated Application Update. In his letter, Mr. Radford alleges that the BPS did not engage DPCC in consultation prior to the submission of the Consolidated Application as required by both Sec. 1112 and 1118 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Given that Mr. Radford in his letter mentions that the DPCC participated in two planning meetings regarding the Consolidated Application development process, and notwithstanding that DPCC did not support the plan submitted, SED is seeking clarification regarding the consultation process that the district engaged in with parents in regard to the Annual Consolidated Application, DCIP, and associated SCEPs. SED asks that BPS submit to SED by October 1, 2013 written evidence documenting the consultation process that BPS engaged in to develop these required plans; the official capacity of the DCPP in regard to consultation; and the role, if any, that the DPCC played in developing the submitted plans. Your documentation should be sent to rreyes@mail.nysed.gov .

In the event that SED determines that the district has not met the consultation requirement, BPS will be directed to schedule the necessary consultation meetings and provide evidence of having met this requirement to the Department no later than October 22, 2013. In particular, in the event that additional consultation is necessary, stakeholders must be given an opportunity to be consulted on the targets established in the plan. In the event that the consultation process results in modifications to the plan, the Buffalo Board of Education will be required to approve the revised submission and resubmit the plan to SED for approval. If you have any questions, please contact Anne Defiglio or Erica Meaker in my office. They may be reached at: (518) 473-0295 or via email at: adefiglio@mail.nysed.gov and emeaker@mail.nysed.gov. We look forward to your response. Sincerely

Roberto Reyes

Cc:

Barbara Nevergold Judy Elliott Ken Slentz Ira Schwartz Anne DeFiglio Erica Meaker

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