One-year renewal linked to charter school transfers

The Dec. 5 story on charter school transfers (465 students have transferred to Buffalo public schools from charters in the past four months) missed some important context. It rightly pointed out that charters are schools of choice, and that parents are not obligated to enroll or withdraw a student. But of the three schools identified for the most transfers, two have a circumstance that went unmentioned.

Enterprise Charter School was recently granted a one-year renewal from the Buffalo Board of Education and the state. A side effect of such a short-term renewal is that families move children immediately rather than face the possibility of closure one year later. With Aloma D. Johnson, the charter school moved to a new location – another event that can lead to students withdrawing.

These decisions affect both regular and special education students. Similarly, many charters have packed waiting lists of regular and special education students seeking an alternative.

Overall, the board should be commended for seeking to understand patterns of parental choice. But it is important to consider these patterns in the proper context.

Andrea Rogers

Northeast Charter Schools Network