Charter schools are free, publicly-funded, independently-operated schools of choice that are allowed to operate with more autonomy than traditional public schools in exchange for increased accountability.

There are no admissions criteria; any student who is grade-level eligible can enroll through a non-discriminatory admissions lottery. Charter schools are offered certain freedoms— namely freedom over the budget, curriculum and personnel—in exchange for this increased academic accountability.

Charter schools operate under five-year performance contracts, and are held to the same New York State Regents’ performance standards established for all public schools. A not-for-profit Board of Trustees governs charter schools.

All programs and policies for a charter school are defined in the school’s charter documents. Charter schools are legally bound to operate in a fiscally and ethically responsible manner in accordance with their charters.

How are Charter Schools Funded?

Charter schools receive a per-pupil allocation from the state. This per-pupil allocation varies from year to year, but in the City of Buffalo, in general, has been routinely equivalent to approximately 40% of the total per pupil expenditure of a Buffalo public school student. In order to make up for this funding discrepancy, charter schools must privately fundraise. For more information on the NYS charter school funding formula, click here.

What are the Benefits of Enrolling My Child in a Charter School?

 Enable teachers to be more creative and innovative in their teaching methods and subject matter

Provide an added education resource in areas underserved by public schools

Tend to be smaller in classroom size and overall student body for more personalized attention

Allow parents to choose a school based on what they think will work best for their children

Are held accountable for meeting student performance goals

Ready to Enroll?