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State Updates Massachusetts Charter School Wait List

Children at school on a computer
Lucelia Ribeiro/Flickr

Massachusetts education officials say there are 34,000 children on wait lists to get into charter schools. 

The size of the wait list has been an issue in the campaign to lift the cap on charter schools. Governor Charlie Baker who has prominently promoted a ballot campaign to expand access to charter schools has said it is a “ disgrace” that so many children are on waiting lists.

Michelle Hernandez said she is frustrated that her son is on a waiting list for a chance to get into a charter school in Springfield.

" Charter schools need to be available more to children in regular schools and should not be limited to small numbers of families who won a lottery," Hernandez said at a pro-charter school rally last September.

Charter school critics believe the wait list numbers are overstated because students apply to get in to more than one school.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.