In 2005, the Buffalo Schools laid-off 15 attendance officers in a dispute with the Buffalo Teachers Federation over the single health care insurance that took court action to resolve it. Still, the cadre of professional truancy officers were never reinstated despite the yearly dip in attendance rates even though the district had committed to reinstate them.
Meanwhile thousands of school children either failed to show up in school daily or had so many absences it contributed to higher drop-out rates, academic failure, as well as, one of the major causes for the high number of Buffalo public schools on the state "persistently low-achieving" list.
Buffalo News education blogger Mary Pasciak wrote in, Lessons from the boycott:
Despite the nearly universal agreement that the district must take steps to increase student attendance, the proposed 2011-12 Buffalo Public Schools budget does not include reinstating attendance teachers or truant officers across the district.The attendance statistics she listed from the various schools for May 2, in the district are dismal at best especially at all of the academic high schools, including McKinley, Hutch Tech and Leonardo Da Vinci considered the top tier high schools in the district. And Pasciak wrote, " It's hard to imagine how anyone could see that as anything but major cause for concern.
Here attendance rankings of the schools on May 2
When the BTF threatened not to sign off on the Race to the Top grant application to the State Education Department last year, the district included three truancy officers, but the attendance in the district has decreased drastically since the truancy officers were laid off six years ago that additional attendance teachers needed.