For Immediate Release: March 14, 2014
Contact: Bob Bellafiore, 518-928-8471, firstname.lastname@example.org
SENATE BUDGET WOULD BRING BUFFALO-AREA CHARTER SCHOOLS CLOSER TO FUNDING EQUITY
Bipartisan plan would address long-standing inequities in charter funding law and create charter pre-k programs
Albany, NY – The state Senate’s budget proposal would be “a game-changer for Buffalo charter students who have struggled for years without facilities funding and without access to free space in public buildings,” Northeast Charter Schools Network President Bill Phillips said Friday.
“The lack of facilities funding is a statewide problem, but it hits the roughly 9,000 Buffalo-area charter students especially hard. For years, their schools were forced to redirect scarce instructional dollars toward facilities costs—even as per pupil funding was held flat.”
“We applaud the bipartisan leadership of Senator Skelos and Senator Klein for standing up for all children, including children who attend charter public schools. We thank Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes for appearing at an Albany rally and speaking on behalf of Buffalo charter students. With the strong support of Governor Cuomo, we look forward to a final state budget that ensures educational opportunity and hope for all children,” Phillips said.
The Senate budget proposal would do the following for Buffalo-area schools:
- Grant access to the statewide Building Aid program.
- Unfreeze per pupil funding after three years with no increase.
- Ensure free rent for charters that lease space in public buildings.
- Enable charter schools to run Universal Pre-K programs.
Buffalo charter schools have been flat funded at $12,005 per pupil for the last three years, while the Buffalo Public Schools spending has increased. The District spent an estimated $18,337 per pupil last year. According to a recent survey for the 2011-12 school year, Buffalo-area charters spent an average of $1,650 per pupil on their facilities costs (47% survey response rate).
About the Northeast Charter Schools Network:
The Northeast Charter Schools Network is a regional advocacy organization for the more than 200 charter schools in New York and Connecticut. Its mission is to support and expand high quality charter schools in the region.
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