The Buffalo Public Schools Graduation Rate Rises to 76.3%


Media Advisory1-14-2021 

Contact: Elena Cala at 716.254.1250 


The Buffalo Public Schools  

Graduation Rate Rises to 76.3% 


Buffalo Grad rate jumps 11.6%; largest increase of any of the Big City School Districts in New York State, outperforms State Average in ELL and Special Ed 

Due to strategic innovation within the Education Bargain with Students and Parents - the Buffalo Public Schools transformational turnaround plan - graduation rates have risen, student growth and achievement scores have risen, technological innovation is a hallmark attribute, and the District is providing greater programmatic access, equity, quality, and opportunity for all students than ever before – all under extraordinary circumstances that came along with the Covid-19 pandemic and remote instruction. 




  • The 4-year graduation rate climbed from 64.7% to 76.3% (11.6% rise) for BPS high schools 
  • New Innovative High Schools (NIHS) were introduced in 2016; 4 of those schools graduated their first class in 2020, 3 with grad rates well above the state average: Lafayette International 82.8%, Lewis J. Bennett 88.1%, Research Lab 96.3%, and 2nd class of NIHS Buffalo Culinary 84.9% 
  • In BPS, 12 of 20 high schools had graduation rates of 80% or higher  
  • The graduation rate for English Language Learners (ELLs) rose from 33.2% to 57.5% (24.3% rise) for the first time in recent years, leading the state; and,  
  • The graduation rate for Students with Disabilities (SWDs) rose from 51.9% to 64.2% (12.3% rise), also leading the state  
  • Dropout rate decreased from 15.2% to 12.5% (-2.7%) 


A key component of the Educational Bargain has been the redesign and launch of new innovative high schools to bridge the equality gap between traditional and criterion schools.   One of the six new and innovative high school is on track to successfully graduate one graduated it's second class this year and four graduated their inaugural class in 2021.  Four of the five new and innovative high schools produced graduation rates between 82.8% to 96.3%. Providing programs that match students with their passions and future career opportunities in Western New York is a key part of our graduation outcome success.  


“In many ways, I am so extraordinarily proud of the Class of 2020,” said Superintendent Kriner Cash.  “Due to the COVID-19 shutdown many of our seniors could have been discouraged and given up.  They didn’t.  Rather, they doubled down, showed their grit and resilience under adversity, and turned a negative into a tremendous positive!  Staff, parents, and family members are to be commended for helping these amazing students see a brighter future unfold.” 

 Click here to see the memo from Dr. Cash