Susan Edelman of the New York Post reports that the NYC DOE is under investigation by federal and state officials for giving personal information about students to a marketing firm hired by charter schools.

Wait! What about the long waiting lists?!

She writes:

“The city Department of Education reduces its enrollment by giving student names and addresses to a private vendor that produces mass mailings to help charter schools woo families.

“The longtime marketing practice has now come under investigation by state and federal officials after a Manhattan mom complained it violates student privacy rights.

“Each year my family receives a large number of pamphlets and flyers from charter schools, promoting and marketing their schools and urging me to apply, ” Johanna Garcia wrote to state and US officials.

“While Garcia has three kids in public schools, flyers have targeted her daughter who qualified for a gifted and talented program, she wrote, but not two other children with special needs.

“The DOE says it gives only student names, grade levels and addresses to Vanguard Direct, a bulk-mailing company, and forbids the company to share the data with anyone else.

“Charter schools — which are privately run but get taxpayer funds based on enrollment — hire Vanguard to send out hundreds of thousands of marketing materials aimed at recruiting kids.

“Major customers include charter chains Success Academy, Uncommon, KIPP, and Achievement First, said DOE spokesman Douglas Cohen. The DOE receives no payment from Vanguard, he said.

“In response to Garcia’s complaint, the New York state and US education departments said they are probing whether the marketing deal violates FERPA — a federal law which requires schools to get parent permission before releasing student information, except in limited cases.

“But Leonie Haimson, co-chair of the national Parent Coalition for Student Privacy, said the reasoning makes no sense: “School districts lose funding and space when students enroll in charters. Why would the DOE use its own employees for that purpose?”

“Garcia agreed. “Vanguard makes money. Charter schools make money. All on the backs of regular public-school students.”

“The practice began more than a decade ago under ex-Mayor Mike Bloomberg, when Success Academy CEO Eva Moskowitz said she needed the DOE data to market her charter schools. It has continued despite Mayor de Blasio’s less-friendly relationship with charters.

“Chancellor Richard Carranza told a town hall meeting in Harlem last week that DOE schools should better market themselves to stem the rise of charter schools, reported.

“But charter schools say they rely on the mailings to fill seats.”