Buffalo Charter Schools Gather for Day of Action and Call for Fair Funding from Albany

Posted by on 02 / 22 / 2016 0 Reactions


Calling on state lawmakers to end the inequitable funding of their children, charter schools from across Buffalo came together today for a day of action and voter registration event at Aloma D. Johnson Charter School.

For Immediate Release: Monday, February 22, 2016
Contact: Jessica Mokhiber, (518) 573-0516, jmokhiber@necharters.org 


This is the year to end the inequity that leaves Buffalo charter kids funded at 3/5

BUFFALO, NY – Calling on state lawmakers to end the inequitable funding of their children, charter schools from across Buffalo came together today for a day of action and voter registration event at Aloma D. Johnson Charter School. Families, teachers and supporters had the chance to register to vote and contact Governor Cuomo and their elected leaders in Albany asking them to fight for Buffalo charter schools during budget negotiations and provide equity in the form of facilities funding to all of the charter schools in New York State that don’t receive it.

“It makes no sense and is fundamentally unfair that my child receives only 3/5 of the funding that other public school children receive,” said Ingrid Knight, a parent of a student at Elmwood Village Charter School and plaintiff in the Brown v New York charter funding lawsuit“I chose Elmwood Village for my daughter Giselle because it’s a better option for her education and I want her to have a great life – and this school is providing a pathway to that. She and other public charter school kids should not be penalized simply because their parents chose a different kind of public school.”

Statewide on average, charter school students receive 75 cents on the dollar compared to students in district schools but the gap in funding is worse in Buffalo, where charter children only receive 60 cents on the dollar. A 2014 law allowed some charters in New York City access to facilities funding but it left out some schools in that city and all charters outside of New York City. This denial of facilities funding resulted in huge funding disparity and forces charter schools to pay rent or mortgage, and spend scarce dollars on building maintenance – something other public schools do not have to do.

“I am not worth less than other public school kids just because I'm a charter school student,” said Chris Galligan, a student at South Buffalo Charter School. “I am lucky to attend a great public school. I hope lawmakers hear us today as we ask for fairness and equality.”

Northeast Charter Schools Network Western New York Advocacy Manager Duncan Kirkwood said, “My first day of work with NECSN coincided with the Governor’s budget address and I heard him talk about One New York – and to me that means including Buffalo charter school kids in the law that provided for facilities or space. Lawmakers can talk the talk but this is the year they can fulfill their promise not to leave Western New York out.”

West Buffalo Charter School Leader Elizabeth Sterns said, “Our school is using already the limited dollars we do have on our building and its maintenance. We would so much rather spend that money on teachers, social workers and classroom instruction for our children. We should not be forced to do more but treated as less than other public schools. Our message to Buffalo lawmakers is – we’re counting on you to fight for us this year!” 

Representatives from the Buffalo Urban League also attended to lend their support, calling this a push for equity and fairness in public education.

Participating schools included: 

Aloma D. Johnson Charter School
Elmwood Village Charter School
Enterprise Charter School
Niagara Charter School
South Buffalo Charter School
Tapestry Charter School
West Buffalo Charter
King Center Charter School
Buffalo Academy of Science and Technology Charter School 

About the Northeast Charter Schools Network: The Northeast Charter Schools Network is the membership and advocacy organization for the more than 250 charter schools in New York and Connecticut. Its mission is to support and expand high quality charter schools.

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