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Massachusetts Gov Charlie Baker attends a rally to push for lifting the state39s restrictions on charter schools Great School Massachusetts
<p>Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker attends a rally to push for lifting the state&#39;s restrictions on charter schools.</p>

Lawsuit, petition drive seek to lift the restrictions on Massachusetts charter schools

Advocates of charter schools say 37,000 Massachusetts students are on waiting lists because charters aren&#39;t allowed to expand.

A class-action lawsuit in Massachusetts seeks to remove the state's restrictions on the number of charter schools

The Boston Globe reports that the suit, filed on behalf of five students who were not able to attend charters this year because of the cap, asks the court to "remove an arbitrary impediment to [the students'] ability to obtain a quality education."

The lawsuit is one step among several efforts to allow more students to attend charter schools in Massachusetts. Earlier this week, Gov. Charlie Baker spoke in favor of more charter schools at a rally. Some 37,000 students in the state are on waiting lists to attend charter schools.

A newly formed group, Great Schools Massachusetts, is seeking to place a statewide referendum on the 2016 ballot that would allow the state's Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to authorize up to 12 new public charter schools or existing school expansions per year. 

“The cap on public charter schools is denying my daughter -- and 37,000 other kids stuck on public charter school waiting lists –- the opportunity to go to a great public school,” says Amy Ross, a mother from Boston whose daughter is on eight different waiting lists for public charter schools.

The group needs about 65,000 signatures to get the proposal on the ballot.

Attempts in the state legislature in 2014 to ease the limits on charters were unsuccessful.

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