Education is the great equalizer. Or so we are told. But when education is set up for failure, it rarely disappoints. I present good news and bad news. First, the good news.

Buffalo Academy of Science Charter School is one of the highest performing schools in the area it serves. The school boasts a 94 percent graduation rate. Also, the school ranks 4th in Math and 6th in Science in New York. And the really great news is the school’s make-up is 90 percent low-income students.

But as Paul Harvey would say, “And now the rest of the story”:

According to this report, the school was voted on to close in a recent school board meeting:

One of Buffalo’s highest-performing public schools faces closure following a vote by the New York State Board of Regents last week.

The Board of Regents is one of two main charter school authorizers in New York State (the other is the State University of New York [SUNY] Charter Schools Institute), and it oversees BuffSci, which opened in 2004.

The Board addressed budget concerns and the department’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic and one addressing the enacted state budget for the coming fiscal year.

When addressing Charter School renewals and expansions for BuffSci, the office recommended a full five-year renewal and an expansion of 144 students, which would be phased in over the next two years, to add third and fourth grades—the last two grades BuffSci needs to become a full K-12 school.

Almost an hour of discussion followed in which several regents, including Dr. Catherine Collins, who represents the Western New York region, expressed general concerns about charter schools taking state aid away from public school districts.

As the decision stands now, BuffSci’s charter will expire at the end of June.

“That means the entire school, 760 students and their families, and about 150 staff and teachers, will be homeless in the coming year.”

SEE wanted to help the school, however we are too late. The New York State Board of Regents voted to close the school and the school expires at the end of June. But why this school?

This school has all the social justice trappings: low-income, ergo high minority count. Yet the state of New York chose to close this school; a successful charter school.

Meanwhile, failing government schools continue to get funding. I guess those who made this decision are not willing to close the educational gap for young minority students.

 




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