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This is Serious: School Board Candidate Forums

True Bethel Baptist Church will be hosting a candidate’s forum tomorrow, April 21st, featuring all school board candidates with the exception of Florence Johnson.

Candidates for this May’s School Board Election will be given 2-3 minutes to speak, followed by audience questions.  

Though this is to be a non-partisan event, members of the audience will be given voter guides based on questionnaires that were distributed to candidates by the Coalition for Economic Justice prior to the forum.

This Buffalo News story lists the candidates, the challengers, and makes a point of saying that if Superintendent of Buffalo Public School James Williams were to lose his board majority, the possibility of being able to exceed or even live out his current contract date of July, 2011, hangs in the balance.

The board has typically been one split by loyalty to the Buffalo Teacher’s Federation and those who believe Williams is on the right path.  Williams has accomplished some good during his tenure (single carrier insurance, more stringent early learning programs) but in what seems to be a constant fight against teacher’s union guidelines, as championed by BTF President Phil Rumore.   

In an election that attracts less than 5% of registered voters, the school board seats are very often a vote for Williams or Rumore in the end, depending on where the sympathies of the board members lie.  With that in mind, anyone with the ability to vote should make an effort to be at the forums.  

As Joy McDuffie of the Western New York Law Center, and the organizer of next month’s very first City of Buffalo Dropout Summit says, “[School issues aren’t] just about people with kids in school.  This is about everybody.  Those kids are the future of this city and its economic health.  If their future isn’t bright, ours is going to be very, very dim.”

There will also be a candidate forum on April 27, from 7 to 9PM at Polish Cadets Hall on Grant and Amherst Streets.

Get to know the candidates, vote for your future

True Bethel Baptist Church

907 E. Ferry


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