Places to learn, places to live: Public boarding schools considered in education debate

Buffalo's chronically struggling school system is considering an idea gaining momentum in other cities: public boarding schools.

The idea is to put round-the-clock attention on students and away from such daunting problems as poverty, troubled homes and truancy.

Supporters say such a dramatic step is necessary to get some students into an atmosphere that promotes learning. And they say it's worth costs estimated at $20,000 to $25,000 per student per year.

Buffalo school board member Carl Paladino envisions a charter boarding school that immerses students as young as first or second grade.

Former Buffalo charter school dean Tanika Shedrick, meanwhile, is pursuing the state's first public boarding high school in Buffalo.

Private boarding schools have been around for centuries but public schools are a newer idea. The Washington, D.C.-based SEED Foundation operates three.