HOUSTON – A lot of local parents are hoping to win the lottery this year, and we’re not talking about Powerball.
Tuesday, marked the first day kids can enroll in the KIPP lottery – hoping to be randomly selected for next year’s school year.
Thousands of kids are expected to enroll Tuesday, but only 15 percent will get a spot at these highly successful, fast growing schools.
Parents got up early for the chance to give their kids the brightest future possible.
“Over-the-top better than other schools that we've been to,” Guadalupe Cruz, a mother, said.
KIPP Houston schools are free public charter schools that focus on college and have an excellent reputation.
“Our focus is on what they will become and opportunities to get there,” Chris Gonzalez, director of marketing and public relations for KIPP Houston, said.
There are 26 schools across Houston – with two more on the way – and their records speak for themselves. Eighty-eight percent of these students are from low income families. However, 94 percent will graduate high school, and 88 percent go on to higher education.
“It is the best school in town,” Victor Portillo, a father, said.
Portillo’s daughter went to KIPP, and on Tuesday, he’s enrolling his 3-year-old victor into the lottery.
“It works just like a private school but it's free,” Portillo said.
The problem is – the demand is so high – KIPP schools can’t grow fast enough. There are about 2,500 openings right now, with 15,000 families vying for those spots.
“It's a luck of the draw really,” Gonzalez said.
Portillo and everyone else, will find out March 1 if his son was selected. Until then, they will be crossing their fingers.
“I will not give up,” Portillo said.
Hoping for good news.
Lottery enrollment runs through Feb. 10. Parents can either enroll at KIPP schools or online at KIPPHouston.org.