City charters Westminster, Enterprise re-upped for five years

January 16, 2014 Updated Jan 16, 2014 at 2:00 PM EDT

By Dan Miner, Reporter- Business First

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City charters Westminster, Enterprise re-upped for five years

January 16, 2014 Updated Jan 16, 2014 at 2:00 PM EDT

Buffalo school district staff will support full five-year renewals for both Westminster and Enterprise charter schools.

Those renewals are subject to approval by the Buffalo school board, which is set for a vote at its Jan. 22 meeting, along with the state Department of Education.

Both charter schools have struggled in recent years with student achievement, being outperformed on standardized tests by traditional public schools.

But Angela Cullen, a school district director who led the review of both schools, said she will recommend the long-term renewals to allow positive changes at the schools to take root.

"I believe there is great progress being made and we will see great academic progress in both schools," Cullen told members of the Buffalo school board at Wednesday's meeting, after a hearing in which leaders from both schools addressed the board.

Superintendent Pamela Brown said the district will make formal recommendations at its next meeting.

Enterprise, on Oak Street in Buffalo, is currently working on a one-year renewal and has roughly 400 students, the majority of whom qualify as low-income. Westminster, on Westminster Avenue on Buffalo's East Side, is backed by M&T Bank and is part of the Buffalo Promise Neighborhood initiative. It is currently finishing a five-year charter renewal from 2009. It has roughly 600 students.