Strategic Investments

Through a rigorous strategic planning process and analysis of school performance across Buffalo, Cullen Foundation prioritized the need to improve access to high-quality schools for historically underserved populations. Cullen has committed to dramatically increasing the number of high-quality seats in schools across the city that serve a majority of economically disadvantaged students via four primary investment strategies:

  1. Replicate and grow proven high-performing charter schools
  2. Incubate new high-performing charter schools
  3. Support the academic growth of mid-performing charter schools
  4. Invest in human capital pipelines that meet the needs of Buffalo charter schools


Cullen has awarded targeted grants to the following charter schools to support their efforts in making and exceeding state performance benchmarks:

  • 2016 and 2017 - Charter School of Applied Technologies - High School
  • 2016 and 2017 - South Buffalo Charter School
  • 2016 and 2017 - West Buffalo Charter School
  • 2017 - Tapestry Charter School
  • 2018 - Tapestry Charter School
  • 2018 - Buffalo Academy of Science Charter School
  • 2018 - West Buffalo Charter School

Cullen awarded strategic grants to the following charter school to support its effort to replicate:

  • 2016, 2017, 2018 - Elmwood Village Charter School, Hertel Campus
In addition, Cullen awarded a strategic grant to Building Excellent Schools in 2016 and 2017.


Open Responsive Grant Recipients

Once a year Cullen Foundation opens its responsive grant application to individual charter schools in Erie County that meet the following criteria:

  • Schools that are committed to providing excellent education for Buffalo students
  • Schools with committed leadership teams with the expertise and ability to successfully implement the grant
  • Schools that are reflective, open to share, and transparent in their efforts to significantly improve the life opportunities for its students
  • Schools with a majority of its student body qualifying as economically disadvantaged

Cullen awarded responsive grants to the following:

  • 2017 - Buffalo Academy of Science Charter School
  • 2017 - Enterprise Charter School
  • 2018 - Buffalo Collegiate Charter School
  • 2018 - King Center Charter School
  • 2018 - Persistence Preparatory Academy Charter School