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Meeting of the Board of Regents | February 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009 - 11:00pm




EMSC Committee


Johanna Duncan-Poitiersignature


Charter Schools:  Proposed Third Revision to the Initial Charter of the Niagara Charter School


February 27, 2009


Goals 1 and 2




Issue for Decision

Should the Board of Regents approve staff’s recommendation concerning the proposed third revision to the initial charter of the Niagara Charter School (Niagara Falls)? 

Reason for Consideration

Required by State statute, Education Law §2852.

Proposed Handling

This question will come before the EMSC Committee in March 2009 for action.  It will then come before the full Board for final action in March 2009.

Procedural History

The New York Charter Schools Act of 1998 requires the Board of Regents (“Board”) to review applications for both new charter schools and the renewal of existing charter schools that are submitted to it in accordance with the standards set forth in subdivision two of New York State Education Law §2852.  After review, the Board may either (a) approve an application and issue a charter or a renewal charter for a term of up to five years, or (b) deny the application.

In addition, New York Education Law §2852(7) provides that revisions of charter school charters shall be made only upon approval of the charter entity and the Board of Regents in accordance with the provisions of the law applicable to the issuance of charters themselves.  With respect to charter schools directly chartered by the Board, it may either approve a proposed revision or deny it.  If the Board of Regents denies the application to revise an existing charter then the charter school may not implement the proposed revision(s).

Background Information

We received a request to revise the initial charter of the Niagara Charter School (“the School”), a Regents-authorized charter school located in the Niagara-Wheatfield Central School District.  The School was granted its initial charter for a five-year term on July 21, 2005 and opened for instruction on August 26, 2006, serving 264 students in grades K-4.  It currently serves 336 students in grades K-6.

The School seeks to cap its grade levels at grade 6, rather than at grade 8, as approved in the original charter, and it also wishes to raise enrollment from 336 students to 350 students.  The rationale for this request is to allow the School to concentrate its resources on the elementary grades in order to continue to make academic gains.  There are not sufficient financial resources available at this time to expand the facility to appropriately house a middle school program. 


The Niagara-Wheatfield Central School District held a public hearing regarding this proposed revision on January 14, 2009.    No comments were made or received. 

Staff recommends that the requested third revision to the initial charter of the Niagara Charter School be approved.


VOTED:  That the Board of Regents approves the revision to the initial charter of the Niagara Charter School, and the provisional charter is amended accordingly.

Reason for Recommendation

The proposed revision to the school’s charter, along with the other terms of the charter: (1) meets the requirements set out in Article 56 of the Education Law, and all other applicable laws, rules and regulations; (2) will permit the charter school to operate in an educationally and fiscally sound manner; (3) is likely to improve student learning and achievement and materially further the purposes set out in subdivision two of section twenty-eight hundred fifty of Article 56 of the Education Law; and (4) will have a significant educational benefit to the students expected to attend the charter school.

Timetable for Implementation

The Regents’ action for the Niagara Charter School will be effective immediately.