Observer: Charter Group Claims Schools Not Filling Vacated Seats

The Democracy Builders, which bills itself as a pro-parents organization, said it had used testing statistics from the city Department of Education website to show that 2,500 students had dropped out of 150 charter schools between 2013 and 2015, and that the schools had failed to replace the departing kids with children from the nearly 50,000-strong wait list of applicants. Charter school students generally perform better than children in regular public schools on standardized tests, but public school advocates and teachers unions—which are closely linked to Mayor Bill de Blasio—have criticized their recruiting and instruction practices.

“We’re saying, ‘if students are leaving, you should be held to put students in those spots,’” said Princess Lyles, executive director of Democracy Builders. “If charters chose to voluntarily backfill empty seats in K through 12, they would expand choice and voice for thousands of families that are desperate for the type of education these high-quality schools provide without new legislation or regulation.”

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