News in Brief: A National Roundup
Buffalo School Board Votes for Charter Moratorium
In a dramatic turnaround from its previous strong support for charter schools, the Buffalo, N.Y., school board voted last week to impose a one-year moratorium on allowing more of the independently operated public schools.
The 5-4 vote in New York state’s second-largest school district was a victory for charter opponents, particularly the local affiliate of the National Education Association. Following the board’s unanimous endorsement last December of a plan to set up a network of district-authorized charter schools, the Buffalo Teachers Federation successfully pushed for the election last spring of a cadre of strong charter opponents to the board.
The turnover on the board led to an attempt to impose a moratorium of three years—rather than the one-year ban imposed on Oct. 27—but that bid was stymied last month when one board member abstained, resulting in a 4-4 split. ("Buffalo Board Rejects Charter Moratorium," Oct. 6, 2004.)
Twelve charter schools currently operate in the 40,000-student district, enrolling some 4,700 students from the city. All but one of those schools obtained their charters from either the state board of regents or the state university system.
Vol. 24, Issue 10, Page 4