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Don't Boycott Buffalo Schools

As Parent Facilitator at Lovejoy Discovery School #43, I have been asked by our parents who are concerned with the outcome of last week’s District Parent Coordinating Council meeting to make our voices heard. Our parents have made it clear that they do NOT support the DPCC’s call to action. Our school, diligently represented by our District Representative LouAnn Loveless, was the lone school to vote against the parental boycott of Buffalo Public Schools at last night’s meeting. We do not support withholding our children from school. We feel this is counterproductive. If we truly want to make a difference in our educational system we must FIRST, as parents, be certain our children are attending school every day, well nourished, well rested, homework completed, and ready to learn. Attendance is key to a student’s success! Our teachers, administrators, Board of Education, and Superintendent will never be effective for those students who are not attending school regularly. IF we are sending our children to school daily, 90%+ attendance rate in ALL schools, then we can truly say our district has failed us. Until that time, we agree the system needs change, however, we do not believe a boycott is the answer.

We do not support reenacting residency laws; parents are asking for a larger pool of qualified teachers, yet with the residency laws we are alienating qualified candidates by mandating they live within Buffalo. We agree with longer school days and a longer school year, creating community schools to allow parents and children to live closer and be more involved, and allowing a public vote on the school board budget. We feel progress was made at last night’s meeting. The stakeholders offered solutions to the problems facing BPS. Now we must all unite and move forward to implement these necessary changes for the increased success of all of our students.

Abbey Bouchard Parent Facilitator, Lovejoy Discovery School #43

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