A Queens public high-school principal excluded 500 Catholic-school kids from a list of 4,000 students applying to get into his school, raising cries from furious parents of foul play.
While more than 4,000 eighth-graders applied for a seat in the school, its principal failed to forward all 500 applications from Catholic-school kids to the Department of Education for possible placement.
Maspeth HS is a “limited unscreened” school — one of 225 in the city — which gives admission priority to students who live nearby and attend its information sessions or open houses.
These schools send a list of those applicants to the DOE, which gives them priority in a “random” lottery.
The system is ripe for abuse by principals who want to exclude certain students or favor others, critics say.
Principal Khurshid Abdul-Mutakabbir told parents at a Juniper Park Civic Association meeting on March 16 he made a “clerical error” in omitting all Catholic-school kids from the list.
But Abdul-Mutakabbir told civic leaders in a prior phone call that parochial applicants pose a “problem,” Juniper Hill president Bob Holden told The Post.
“He said, ‘In all honesty parochial schools are a problem because many of the students opt out and don’t go to my school. That leaves a seat [empty] and it costs the school funding,’” said Holden, who called for an investigation.