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King Center Charter looks to expand

Mike Desmond/WBFO

Buffalo's oldest charter school wants to expand and add grades.

King Center Charter School is up for renewal and told the school board it wants to add grades and add students. That would require a building addition, which the school says it has a plan for.

The school board must approve a renewal and that goes to Albany for final approval.

While Albany has closed charter schools locally and is tangled in a court case over closing another, King has strong test scores and is doing relatively well.

"Our current configuration includes kindergarten through sixth grade," said  Instruction Director Omarlla Barnett. "In our request for renewal, we're asking to add a seventh and eighth grade starting in the year 2013. Our demographics are 94 percent free and reduced meals and we have 20 percent special education."

Barnett says the goal is to have 445 students by 2017, with two classes in each grade.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.