Rumore Sounds Alarm on Racial Diversity at Charter Schools

Rumore highlights racial gap in students and administration

Mike Baggerman
November 22, 2017 - 1:13 pm

WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - Buffalo Teacher's Federation President Phil Rumore is sounding an alarm on racial diversity at Buffalo Charter Schools after information was released by Erie County.

Rumore provided information which said that 25 percent of charter school students in Erie County are white while 81 percent of the principals and administrators are white. Comparatively, Buffalo Public Schools has 57 percent of white administrators.

"Sixty-eight percent of charter school students are black or African American or hispanic," Rumore said. "Only 20 percent (of administrators) county wide are black or hispanic. Some individual charter schools are even worse."

WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman

He highlighted WNY Maritime Charter Schools, which has 62 percent black students and no black or African American principals or assistant principals. However, Rumore said he has not received data about the demographics who have applied to these positions.

"If you want to attract African American administrators or attract white administrators you have to go out and you do what you have to do to do it," Rumore said while noting that Buffalo Public Schools recruited ESL teachers as far away as Puerto Rico. "You have to assume responsibility...You can't just say 'no one has applied'. It's your responsiblity to go out and find some ways because there must be something wrong."

Rumore threatened to have the state legislature come up with new laws or even take the Buffalo Charter Schools to court over the racial gap.

"We want the charter schools to understand that when they're hiring administrators that they have to be more cognizant and make sure it's reflective of the students," he said. "Imagine you're white...and all your teachers are black or African American. You're going to work just as hard but the message goes out that 'maybe I can't be a teacher. Maybe I can't be an administrator'."

Rumore said he's not looking to remove administrators who are white from their current positions but reiterated that administrative positions need to be filled by more minorities.

"I don't think that's too much to ask," Rumore said.

LISTEN: BTF President Phil Rumore on racial gap at Buffalo Charter Schools

BTF - Phil Rumore RAW.mp3

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