As lawmakers in the General Assembly are poised to consider a bill that would streamline the process of approving new charter schools, a statewide charter advocacy organization reports that more than 77,000 students remain on waitlists to join charter schools.

Under the current system, new public charters must first be authorized by the Charter Schools Advisory Board and then receive a majority vote from the State Board of Education. House Bill 618 would create a new Charter School Review Board responsible for evaluating and approving new charters.

“No other public school must go through these complex layers of statewide bureaucracy to open,” said Lindalyn Kakadelis, executive director of the N.C. Coalition for Charter Schools in a statement. “The parents waiting to send their children to a public charter school deserve an efficient review process.”

According to DPI, the State Board of Education approves just 26% of yearly public charter school applications, on average.

H.B. 618 was scheduled to be considered by the House Education Committee April 25 but was pulled from the calendar.