Forum on METCO proposal set for Feb. 25

The Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) is proposing a new enrollment process for school-aged children of color to gain access to suburban schools. The council will hold a public forum on the proposal on Mon., Feb. 25, at the Thelma D. Burns Building, 575 Warren St., Dorchester. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.

The proposed new system would replace the first come, first served registration process with an annual time window (Oct. 2 - Dec. 31) for parents to file applications online or in person. After registration closes, applicants will be randomly selected and referred to METCO districts based on available seats. Families could re-apply the next year if not accepted, and siblings would be prioritized if space is available in the enrolled student’s district.

“We are proposing carefully analyzed, thoughtful changes to the METCO application process,” METCO CEO Milagros (Milly) Arbaje-Thomas said in a statement. “With a wait list of over 8,000 for this program serving 3,300 students annually with a few hundred openings per year, it is clear that Boston families remain interested in this opportunity.”