BUFFALO (WKBW) - Another day closer to the start of the school year, and still no answers concerning the future of Buffalo's Pinnacle Charter School. The State wants the school closed, and school officials are headed to court on Wednesday, but why is all this happening? And what implications could it have to surrounding schools?
We reached out to officials at the State Education Department on Tuesday, but did not hear back.
Pinnacle was scheduled to be closed last year over low test scores, but was kept open via a court injunction. Now leaders are headed back to the courts, scrambling to keep the school open just a week before school starts.
560 students are still in limbo as attorneys for Pinnacle Charter School head to State Supreme Court on Wednesday.
One of their biggest arguments, the decision to close the school was made without enough time to place all of the children at different schools.
"It was the state that said to the Court of Appeals, that if the determination was made by the Court of Appeals on August 21st or 22nd, that there would not be sufficient time for a transfer of students, and that would result in harm to the students. Those are the state's words, on file at the Court of Appeals," lead attorney Lisa Coppola said.
If Pinnacle closes, those 560 students must find new schools in less than a week. The likely landing spot is the Buffalo Public Schools, but Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore said 'not so fast.'
"You can't do it. You simply can't do it. I mean, it's impossible to do. There is no place for these students now. We can't go and open up a school now," Rumore said.
That leaves many Pinnacle parents stuck.
"The Buffalo Public School system, you've been hearing it for two weeks, all the problems they're having with the academic, state academic standards. And then you want to transfer my child to a school that is in poor standing?" parent Donnie Singleton said.
Another argument from the school's side, that Pinnacle has improved since the scores that originally put them in jeopardy of closing, showing charts and stats at a recent school board meeting. The State did not respond to our request for comment on those stats.
Nearly 200 students have applied for transfers to schools of good standing within the Buffalo Public District. That number could jump if the school closes. This year, more than 2000 transfer requests were made in the Buffalo district, and less than 500 of those were granted.
Attorneys for Pinnacle will be in State Supreme Court Wednesday morning.