Over 800 Students Apply for Harmony School's Lottery System

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LAREDO, Texas (KGNS) - The conversation surrounding charter schools is growing, as Betsy Devos, known as an advocate of charter schools, was selected as secretary of education by President Donald Trump.

Admission to the charter schools is highly competitive, which leads to a waiting list in communities they reside.

Charter schools are schools that receive government funding but operate independently of the established public school system.

With a high demand, Harmony hosted a lottery system to choose the students that will be accepted for the upcoming year.

On Wednesday there was a room full of parents eagerly waiting to find out if their child would be accepted in one of Harmony public schools.

Melissa Ramirez's three children are among the 800 students that signed up for a chance at a seat in either an elementary or middle school class.

With the high demand and limited space, each year a lottery system is held to select new students.

This year 503 children signed up for the lottery to be accepted into the Harmony School of Innovation, which is the school's elementary grade campus.

Only 95 seats available within those grades.

Three-hundred students hoped to be one of the 284 to receive a seat at the middle school campus.

What kept Ramirez applying year after year was Harmony's curriculum, which is heavily influenced by science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

At Harmony the student to teacher ratio is usually 26 to 1, something Ramirez finds appealing since her son has special needs.

After several trial runs, a software randomly selects students names.

Some parents were disappointed by the outcome, but for Ramirez, after three years, two out of her three children got into the school.

Those not accepted are placed on a wait list and have the possibility of still being accepted if those accepted don't turn in their required paperwork.

Harmony School of Excellence, which is the high school campus is still accepting applications.

The last day is on March 15th and the lottery will take place a few days after the deadline.

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