Although funding the option continues to be a problem, the Buffalo School board voted yesterday afternoon at a special meeting to allow John Hopkins University (JHU) to serve as the Educational Partnership Organization (EPO) for both Lafayette and East High School.
The Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) will also partner with JHU to offer career technical training to students at both Lafayette and East High School.
The NYS education Department last month sent a letter to district officials that mandated it partner with BOCES as the EPO for both East and Lafayette.
This option wasn't feasible because the two high schools had previously formed a relationship with JHU that started last fall and they wanted to continue it with support from the local community, faculty and the Buffalo Teachers Federation (BTF).
Still, there is the problem of how the JHU program as the EPO will be funded now that the State Ed did not approve the district grant application.
And district CFO Barbara Smith responded the total cost will be between $2.2 million and $5.2 million. News blogger Sandra Tan reported Smith explained the funds will come from "reductions elsewhere in the budget, use grant funding, spend from the contingency budget and use some assigned fund balance for things like unsettled union agreements, contracts, etc., " Also, the additional funds for five positions JHU requested will come from sources such as building based budgeting, Title 1, III, and Contract for Excellence funds.
When questioned about possibly funding the JHU project with funds the district set aside for contract negotiations Smith sheepishly responded doesn't think it will happen.
So, JHU prevailed as the EPO though the district has to find a source for funding the project.
And new board member Carl Paladino asked a JHU representative what prior experience they had with the student population over 60% international and ELL enrolled at Lafayette High School.