By Dr. Sonia Correa Pope

As kids move on from eighth grade or high school, plan for college or a career, and look forward to the future, graduation should be an exciting time across Massachusetts.

But as I read the heartwarming graduation stories in the newspaper and saw nightly news features of kids holding their diplomas in the air with pride as their families looked on, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad for so many young people in Holyoke who deserve to continue receiving an outstanding education through our public charter school and are not because an enrollment “cap number” dictates their future.

Because of enrollment limits, nearly 33,000 children – including more than 400 in Holyoke alone – are shut out of the opportunity to attend a public charter school. At the lottery we held last March at Holyoke Community Charter School (HCCS), we had 366 applications for a total of 34 openings.

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