Buffalo schools are hoping to announce in a few weeks that they’ve reach a partnership deal with “Say Yes To Education”, a non-profit group that helps to solve problems in urban school districts. Among other things, they will secure funding to pay college tuition for graduates of the BPS.
Though the tuition guarantee is the most surprising aspect of the deal, it might not be the most important. From the article:
Syracuse School Superintendent Sharon Contreras said that Say Yes has introduced a new way of bringing the city and county together to support children.
“The children are no longer simply the responsibility of the school district, but we all own them and we are all vested in their success,” she said.
She credits the efforts of Say Yes for many improvements.
The district now has one social worker for every 200 students — a significant improvement from its previous ratio of one social worker for every 500 to 700 students, which is about the current ratio in Buffalo.
Legal clinics throughout the city provide free support to families on custody issues, housing and more.
Every elementary school offers two hours of enrichment activities after classes. About 60 percent of students participate.
Tutors — 360 of them, many from Syracuse University — work with students both during the school day and afterward on their academics.
Every elementary school will have its own mental health clinic, staffed by an outside agency, by the end of the school year.
“It’s a collective commitment to the future of children in our city. Everyone’s at the table, in one form or another,” said Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy Cantor, who has been playing a lead role in the Say Yes efforts in Syracuse.
Hopefully this will work out as planned. Heaven knows the old techniques aren’t doing it. Look at our sub-50% graduation rates for that evidence.