METCO moving to online lottery for enrollments in the program

An online lottery system will replace the current “first-come, first-served” enrollment protocol for the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) program. The plan, which was approved on April 30 by the state’s Education Department, will modernize the paper-based system over the next two years.

The METCO program, founded in 1966, places children from Boston into racially isolated schools in nearby suburbs to increase diversity. Program officials currently work with 3,300 students annually who are enrolled in 190 public schools in 33 suburban school districts.

More than 15,000 students seek one of the approximately 300 available seats per year and many families put their children’s names on the METCO wait list at birth.

“Families have told us how stressful the current system is,” said METCO CEO Milly Arbaje-Thomas. “The METCO community is ready and eager to support our historic legacy with 21st-century operations.”

You can review the complete METCO revised application process at metcoinc.org/new-application-system .