Charter schools fire back at critics

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Officials for Buffalo’s charter schools are going on the offensive to clear up “misconceptions” about their schools’ operations and socio-economic makeup.

Just a few weeks ago, the Buffalo Teachers Federation released a scathing review of charter schools. The BTF says students are failing at alarming rates.

BTF President Phil Rumore told News 4 their numbers show wide disparity between the number of these students in public versus charter schools. Rumore also says their data shows poor performance at the city’s charter schools and a high number of suspensions.

“We aren’t against charter schools. What we want to do is have a level playing field so they have the same types of students,” Rumore said. “They can’t just boot kids out and send them back when they don’t want them.”

Western New York is home to 16 charter schools that serve 7,000 students. But officials say charter schools only get two-thirds of the aid money public schools get and say they still manage to beat Buffalo Public Schools in several categories, including achievement, suspensions and socio-economic makeup.

Charter School for Applied Technologies Treasurer Danielle Hawkins said, “If you want to have more than a 64 percent chance of graduating, you need to test in. All of our charter schools that have a 12th grade are graduating above that rate. And it’s important to note that no charter schools are able to select their population.”

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