This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
For years, trying to get your kid into a Philly charter school has been a byzantine hassle. Each school has its own application, deadline, and response window.
Apply Philly Charter aims to fix that.
Starting Friday, parents can apply to most of the city’s charters by going to the Apply Philly Charter website and filling out one basic form. With the click of a few digital boxes, a child can enter dozens of charter-school lotteries.
The initiative’s backers say they’re increasing access and helping parents. Given the dismal lottery odds at some city charter schools, they say, many families feel that they have to apply to a lot of charters to ensure that they get into any of them at all. Now more city parents can do that quickly and easily, without the kind of extra legwork that can be difficult for working families to manage.
In this initial year, 73 of the city’s 108 charter campuses have agreed to participate in the Apply Philly Charter application process. That includes all of the city’s major charter networks. Parents who want to apply to any of these schools must go through Apply Philly Charter website, although there is a phone option for families who lack internet access.