enterprise charter

Buffalo board votes to close 2 charter elementary schools

April 1, 2021
Board members say test scores in math and language arts at both schools were too low.

The Buffalo (N.Y.) school board has voted to close two long-running charter schools with nearly 1,000 students.

The Buffalo News reports that Enterprise and Westminster schools will close as charter campuses by the end of June. The futures of both schools were in jeopardy in the face of board criticism that their proficiency rates in math and English language arts have historically been lower than the district-wide average.

“We all took into consideration that this was a Covid year,”  Board President Sharon Belton-Cottman said. “This is not based on one year, this is based on a pattern of over a decade.”

Westminster and Enterprise supporters have argued that the most recent state scores are from two years ago and are better than those at many district schools with a similar percentage of poor students.

The city school system has long complained about growing competition from the independently run charters and, in this case, had the opportunity to close down two of them.

Enterprise opened in August 2003 and was promoted as the only charter in the state authorized by its local school district. The school has more than 400 students in kindergarten through eighth grades.

The board has expressed interest in reopening Westminster as a traditional district school, just as it was 17 years ago before being converted to a charter.

“It was an excellent Buffalo Public School and it will be an excellent Buffalo Public School again if it is converted,” says Board Member Paulette Woods.

Westminster has roughly 550 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

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