BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — New York State Supreme Court Justice Mark A. Montour granted a preliminary injunction Friday to keep two Buffalo charter schools open that were set to close at the end of June.
Westminster Community and Enterprise charter schools were set to close June 30, 2021 after the Buffalo School Board decided to not renew their charters earlier this year. The school board voted to close both schools saying they are underperforming. Officials from the charter schools dispute that claim.
Westminster and Enterprise were started by the Buffalo Public School District which is why the district has the right to renew or decline the charter, instead of the NYS Board of Regents.
In May the schools sued the district to prevent them from shutting them down. The preliminary injunction keeps the schools open for at least the 2021-22 school year while the case proceeds.
“We’re pleased with the judge’s ruling and the strength of his decision,” said Andrew Freedman and Kirsten J. Barclay, the attorneys Westminster and Enterprise, respectively. “Most importantly, the students and families will not be uprooted from their schools, which have provided educational, social and physical stability throughout the pandemic. Westminster and Enterprise are also grateful to their staffs for keeping the important work of educating children foremost throughout the uncertainty of the past few months.”
If the schools close, it would mean nearly 1,000 school students will need to find a new school.
The Buffalo Public School District released the following statement Friday:
“We intend to appeal today’s preliminary injunction ruling. In light of the fact that litigation is still pending, there will be no further comment at this time.”