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Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - 9:26am

Charter School Wait Lists Growing Longer In Georgia

The demand for charter schools in Georgia is high. But the supply of actual spots available in these schools is not meeting that demand, and many students are instead finding themselves on long waiting lists.

Telegraph of Macon education reporter Jenna Mink looked into what’s behind the long waiting lists.
“According to the most recent data, there has been a 6.7 percent increase in the number of Georgia charter schools that hold lotteries,” said Mink. “When a charter school receives more applications than open slots, it must draw student names at random. Those names that are not drawn are put on a waiting list. Nationally, the number of names on such waiting lists increased by 13 percent this school year, according to the Georgia Charter Schools Association.”

In Macon, the Academy for Classical Education is scheduled to open Aug. 4 with 760 students in kindergarten through eighth grade -- and about 540 on a waiting list. That waitlist is much lengthier than school officials had anticipated.

Mink says what’s fueling the demand are groups of parents who want schools that teach subjects being taught less at public schools, including the fine arts.