That initiative, Reflecting St. Paul, was launched this school year and seeks to open seats in 11 schools to students from neighborhoods with lower incomes, higher percentages of non-English-speaking families and lower test scores.
Under the program, the students, many from minority groups, are entitled to one-fifth of the available seats in each school. Availability hinges on how many seats remain open after first being allocated to children living within each of the respective school communities.
With the new class-size limits, however, the schools had fewer seats to begin with in planning for the 2014-15 school year. For Reflecting St. Paul, in particular, the school-choice lottery results, as of last week, reveal a 41 percent decline in student placement at the 11 schools — from 378 students in April 2013 to 222 students this year.