Winning the ed lottery

Date Published: 
March 14, 2014
Boston Herald Editorial Staff

Charter schools throughout the state held their annual lotteries Wednesday afternoon — randomly selecting students for the limited number of slots in their starting grades.

Statewide some 13,600 applicants were vying for just 2,200 available seats in those public schools. At, for example, the Boston Collegiate Charter school 900 names went into the box from which only 50 would be drawn. As the school’s executive director Shannon Varon put it, “It’s an exciting day, but it’s a bittersweet day for us.”

It doesn’t have to be as bittersweet as it is now.

Legislation to lift the cap on charter enrollments in poorly performing school districts is pending at the State House. In fact, the Education Committee faces a March 19 deadline on reporting the bill out — the first step in getting it to the House and Senate floor. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Barry Finegold (D-Lawrence) and Rep. Russell Holmes (D-Boston), who described his district as 99.9 percent people of color. Both communities have an enormous amount to gain from the legislation.