The President of the Buffalo Federation of Teachers, Phil Rumore resigned from the Westminster Foundation board recently.
Buffalo News reporter Mary Pasciak wrote because foundation wanted the district to commit too much of its funds and cede control of the schools under the Buffalo Promise Neighborhood project. The two schools are Highgate Heights Elementary School and Bennett High School essentially, adopting a model similar to Westminster Community Charter School.
Eleven years ago in 1993, M&T Bank started a partnership with Buffalo Public School #68. One year later in 1994, Dr. Yvonne Minor-Ragan was recruited and appointed principal, the named changed to Westminster Community School in 1995, and ten years later in 2004, it was converted to the Westminster Community Charter School . In its charter school phase the Buffalo Board of Education had to deposit the school funds into M&T Bank responsible for operating the school including staffing it. And its charter was renewed for another five years in 2009.
The plan is to open an early childhood center on Bailey Avenue and Amherst Street to serve as a feeder school into the Westminster Community Charter School, Highgate Heights and Bennett High School that Yvonne Minor-Ragan called a pipeline. She said, "
There are about 12,000 residents in the 14215 area expected to bring in another 14,000 from adjacent communities to include in the Buffalo Promise Neighborhood project. Buffalo applied and obtained a planning grant that only 21 communities out of 339 received across the nation.
There is confusion regarding if Highgate Heights and Bennett High School don't meet Adequate Yearly Progress AYP that Westminster Charter can availed itself of remedial options that caused Rosalynd Taylor, the Board of Ed East District Rep to ask she hopes its in consultation with the district. Also, West District Board Rep. Ralph Hernandez asked a question re the budget saying, "g
|"All we're requesting is what you currently fund those two schools at and what you would fund similar schools."|
It appears the partnership is with the Superintendent of the Buffalo Schools not the Buffalo Board of Education, Chamberlain responded they structured the project that way.
If $4 million to $6 million allocated to the Buffalo Promise Neighborhood project with M&T Bank fully matching the grant, including raising another $9 million privately as it stated through Chamberlain, the bank becomes a key player in the project. The Buffalo Board of Education has to grapple with the issue of funding the budget for and control of these schools in the Buffalo Promise Neighborhood project.