School integration program changes selection method

May 7, 2019

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts voluntary school integration program that sends Boston children to suburban schools is changing the way it selects participants.

The Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity program, more often called Metco, has for years assigned students on a first-come, first-served basis, prompting many parents to put their children on the waiting list when they are infants or toddlers.

Under the change announced Monday, students will be selected through a lottery. Parents will be able to submit applications only in the fall for the following school year.

Metco officials say it will bring more fairness and diversity to the system.

Metco enrolls 3,300 Boston students in 33 suburban districts. Studies have shown those students have higher high school graduation rates and college enrollment rates than their peers in city schools.