BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Two City of Buffalo charter schools can remain open for two more years under certain conditions.
Last March, the Buffalo School Board voted to close Westminster Community and Enterprise charter schools, but after a legal battle, they’ll stay open through at least June 2024.
In a joint statement, Enterprise board chair Thomas Ess and Westminster board chair Rita Eisenbeis thanked the school board for “putting students and families first and agreeing to amicably settle this dispute.”
“I think it’s a big win for education because what it tells me and what it shows the families is that the school district and the schools are what students need to get through and that people were able to meet in the middle,” said Ellen Eagen, an attorney who represented the families in the lawsuits. “We’re coming out of a terrible pandemic that has upended schools as we know them, and the parents felt that this particular time in the students’ lives and education, it just did not make sense to close their school communities.”
Janira Carrasco is a parent of a student at Westminster Community Charter School. In a statement, she said parents are excited with the outcome of this case, and that they look forward to working with the administration to “ensure our children receive quality education.”
“This is an opportunity for both of these schools to turn themselves around and get back on track,” said Nathaniel Kuzma, general counsel for Buffalo Public Schools.
Part of the agreement is that the schools must reach certain goals while they’re open, including recruiting and retaining students, as well as meeting academic benchmarks. School officials must achieve these targets if they want to remain open beyond 2024.