The Buffalo School Board elections jump started with the 13 prospective candidates filing nominating petitions this week. Surprisingly, Sharon M Belton-Cottman, Ferry District Rep. is running unopposed though two other candidates had been announced previously.
It appears the charter school proponents are just as aggressive as in previous School Board elections though it's hard to determine who they are except for James Sampson, president and CEO Gateway-Longview/and chairman of the county's control board. He was a founding member of the West Buffalo Charter School and President of Buffalo ReformED. And he was an unsuccessful former candidate for an at-large School Board seat and board member of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.
One thing for sure it's a smorgasbord made up of challengers from the District Parent Coordinating Council, Citizen Action, Buffalo ReformEd and others.
The race is a highly politicized one with prospective candidates either supporting charter schools or for public education. There appears to be an aggressive move by the charter proponents to carry out their agenda of turning Buffalo Public Schools especially those the state listed as low performing or "priority" schools into charters.
But it's not time to speculate what is going to happen yet in a race where certainly challenges to many of the petitions especially of the newcomers on to the school board races are disqualified for one reason or other. So expect, the legal battles to play out in court until the candidates are whittled down and the school board forums begin and until the voters elect either the incumbents or new candidates to the Board in May.