Houston Matters

Why Are 32,000 Kids on Waiting Lists for Houston Charter Schools?

Families Empowered, a Houston-based nonprofit dedicated to helping families choose the right schools for their children, says many area charter schools are bogged down with long waiting lists. The group says more than 32,000 students in Houston were placed on a waiting list for a seat at one of three high-performing public charter schools for the […]

School Bus Education Illustration - MHagertyFamilies Empowered, a Houston-based nonprofit dedicated to helping families choose the right schools for their children, says many area charter schools are bogged down with long waiting lists.

The group says more than 32,000 students in Houston were placed on a waiting list for a seat at one of three high-performing public charter schools for the 2015-2016 school year.

To learn more, we talk with Ann Ziker, executive director of the charter school system YES Prep Public Schools, about this trend, the challenges it presents and what can be done to end the wait list — or at the least-shorten it.

We also talk with Mark Smith, chief student support officer for HISD, to talk about how such long wait lists are affecting the district’s magnet programs. And we draw comparisons between that trend and the trend seen in charter schools.

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