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17,000 Names

As we tweeted yesterday, Washington Examiner has reported that there are “More than 17,000 names on charter school waiting lists:”

Waiting lists for the city’s public charter schools are running a total 17,396 names deep, according to the DC Public Charter School Board.

That’s 51 percent of the total number of students successfully enrolling in the city’s public charter schools in the fall, or 33,699 children. This year, 31,562 students attended charter schools, while 45,630 attended DC Public Schools.

Students can add their names to more than one waiting list, so these 17,000 names likely do not represent that many distinct individuals. And the length of waiting list varies widely across the board: some schools still have open places, while one-third of charter schools have single lists that are over 100 names long. And close to one-quarter of those names are on the waiting lists at one two-campus school (EL Haynes Public Charter School); another 2,000 students are waiting on possible places at just two other schools (Two Rivers and Capital City).

The Examiner article adds that: “Forty-one percent of the District’s public school students attend charter schools — a rate second only to New Orleans’, and one that’s likely to keep increasing.” Says Scott Pearson, the executive director of the Charter School Board, “We realize there is a large gap between that demand and available slots, and we remain committed to … transforming public education so that more DC children can attend the school of their choice.”

What do you think about the steady rise in enrollment, considering that more than four in ten DC students now attend a charter school? Is there a long-term solution to these extensive wait lists?

You also can learn more about the charter and alternative schools in Catalogue’s network right here.

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