Charter School for Applied Science! They Got it!


A week ago I had the pleasure and awesome opportunity to sit in a Business Luncheon for CSAT (Charter School for Applied Science)! I was invited by Susan Toomey, Director of Guidance and Community Relations. I found out some awesome stats about the charter school that I think everyone in Buffalo ought to be impressed by! So far, CSAT is one of the most successful and largest charter schools in Buffalo, NY. They have over 1,500 students from grades K-12, over 400 students in their high school and a 100% graduation rate for 179 students! If that isn’t impressive I don’t know what is! 🙂

With over 70 clubs and extra-curricular activities, CSAT has not only kept a phenomenal track record but I got a chance to meet multiple students at this Luncheon and a prior meeting I attended. I can definitely relate with this growing establishment! As I feel Báles Clothing has been the underdogs of Fashion in Buffalo, NY; CSAT has been the underdogs of Academics in Buffalo, NY area. I do hope that you plan on enrolling your kids at CSAT or planning to use those extra funds to invest in a great cause! This is why Báles Clothing has decided to open its Balcony seats of Asbury Hall, Babeville to the teen students of CSAT and other schools for our next fashion show on April 9th 2011 called “The Show:2”!

Cool Facts about Charter Schools:

1. In New York State, school districts only contribute about 66% of each charter school students’ expenses, meaning that when a student leaves, the remaining 33% of his/her funding stays with the home school district. The charter school gets 66% of the money and 100% of the student!

-This also means that charter schools have to do more (they are required to demonstrate increased student achievement) with less (only about 33% of the funding most traditional schools receive).

2. Charter schools are free to attend (no tuition), and either serve the same demographic characteristics that exist in their nearby public schools, or are selected by parents of students who are “not making it” in traditional schools.

3. Charter school students need to take the same state tests that their public school colleagues are required to take, including the New York State Math and ELA Assesments and Regents Exams. But the accountability does not end there.

-Charter schools have to not only adhere to state standards like public schools, but they have to live up to the requirements that their licensing agencies set forth when the schools were established. Simply put, if a charter school does not meet the needs of its students, it is closed. That decision is determined via a thorough review of the schools’ performance by a third-party agency every five years. Again, traditional public schools just don’t have the urgency/accountability that charter schools do.

4. Like public schools, each charter school is required by law to provide special education services in accordance with each student’s plan developed by the Committee on Special Education of his/her home school district. That means that charter schools have access to those resources each district can provide, including personnel, equipment, etc. Further, charter schools’ smaller class sizes and flexible “best practice” approach to curriculum development is better for students with special needs.

5. State law requires all charter schools of a certain size to give their teachers the option to unionize. It is up to the teachers. In many cases, like CSAT, the educators joined a union (in CSAT’s case, NYSUT). In others, though, the teachers did not.

I hope we educated everyone a little bit more about charter schools! Especially CSAT!

Food Prepared by Students of CSAT!


Steven Bales