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Table 4.2. Number and types of open enrollment policies, by state: 2017

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State Intradistrict   Interdistrict  
admittance of
students from
other schools
admittance of
students from
other schools
admittance of
students from
other districts
admittance of
students from
other districts
Number of states with
open enrollment policies
17   19   30   23  
Alabama1 No   No   No   No  
Alaska No   Yes 2 No   No  
Arizona No   Yes   No   Yes  
Arkansas No   No   No   Yes 3
California Yes   Yes 4 Yes   Yes 4
Colorado No   Yes   No   Yes  
Connecticut Yes   No   Yes 5 Yes 5
Delaware No   Yes   No   Yes  
District of Columbia Yes   No   No   No  
Florida No   Yes   No   Yes  
Georgia No   Yes 6 Yes 7 No  
Hawaii Yes   No      
Idaho No   Yes 8 No   Yes 8
Indiana No   Yes 9 Yes 10 Yes 9
Iowa No   No   No   Yes 11
Kansas No   No   Yes   No  
Kentucky No   Yes 12 Yes 13 No  
Louisiana No   Yes 14 Yes 15 Yes 14
Maine Yes 16 No   Yes 16 No  
Maryland No   No   No   No  
Massachusetts Yes   No   Yes   No  
Michigan Yes 17 Yes 18 Yes 17 No  
Minnesota No   No   No   Yes  
Mississippi No   No   Yes   Yes 19
Missouri No   No   Yes 20 Yes 21
Montana Yes 22 No   Yes 22 Yes 23
Nebraska No   Yes 24 No   Yes 24
Nevada No   No   Yes 25 No  
New Hampshire Yes   No   Yes   No  
New Jersey No   No   Yes 26 No  
New Mexico Yes   Yes 27 Yes   Yes 27
New York No   No   Yes 28 No  
North Carolina No   No   No   No  
North Dakota No   No   Yes   No  
Ohio No   Yes 29 Yes   Yes 29
Oklahoma No   No   Yes   Yes 30
Oregon No   No   Yes   No  
Pennsylvania No   No   Yes   No  
Rhode Island Yes   No   Yes   No  
South Carolina No   No   Yes   No  
South Dakota No   Yes   No   Yes  
Tennessee Yes   No   Yes   No  
Texas Yes 31 No   Yes 31 No  
Utah No   Yes   No   Yes  
Vermont No   Yes 32 No   Yes 32
Virginia Yes   No   No   No  
Washington No   Yes   Yes   No  
West Virginia Yes   No   Yes   No  
Wisconsin Yes   No   No   Yes  
Wyoming Yes   No   Yes   No  
† Not applicable. State does not have this type of open enrollment policy.
1 Although Alabama does not have open enrollment programs in traditional public schools, there are open enrollment provisions specific to charter schools.
2 For students attending a school designated as persistently dangerous.
3 For students from schools in facilities distress.
4 Under the Open Enrollment Act for students from low-performing schools or districts.
5 Required for students in four cities and optional in priority school districts.
6 Mandatory intradistrict if space is available.
7 Voluntary interdistrict if the sending district does not have the space or if the student lives closer to a school in the receiving district. Districts may enter into a transfer contract with another district.
8 Mandatory intradistrict and interdistrict, with some limitations. School boards may create written agreements for transferring students between districts. Students must apply annually to attend or continue attending the receiving school.
9 In Indianapolis city schools.
10 For specific reasons, such as overcrowding, curriculum offerings, medical reasons or if the student's school isn't fully accredited.
11 In Iowa, mandatory interdistrict is an option for students, but the receiving district has authority to determine the school the child will attend.
12 For students to attend the school closest to their home.
13 School districts may enter into a written agreement with other districts to allow students to attend school in a nonresident district.
14 For low-performing schools and schools in the Recovery School Districts, as well as when transportation time exceeds a prescribed amount, schools are identified as persistently dangerous, academically unacceptable, or for any school transferred in or out of the Recovery School Districts.
15 School boards may enter into an agreement to allow students to transfer to a school in a neighboring parish.
16 Students may attend another school with permission from the receiving school and districts may adopt mutual polices allowing transfer between the districts. Students living far from their assigned school, in districts without an elementary school, or in districts with 10 or fewer students may attend school in another district.
17 Voluntary intradistrict and interdistrict at the intermediate district level.
18 Mandatory intradistrict for low-performing schools
19 For students residing more than 30 miles away from their assigned school.
20 Voluntary open-enrollment program for geographic reasons. School boards may enter into transfer agreements. Receiving districts may set enrollment capacity limits by grade level, school building, and education program. They may also deny a transfer application if the student lives more than 10 miles from the receiving district or if the location of the student's assigned school is closer than the school the student would be attending in the receiving district.The Metropolitan Schools Achieving Value in Transfer Corporation is a program for schools in St. Louis.
21 For unaccredited schools or districts.
22 Sending and receiving districts enter into an attendance agreement that sets forth financial obligations, if any, for tuition and for costs incurred for transportation. Receiving districts may reject an out-of-district attendance agreement if the school's accreditation would be adversely affected by the transfer because of insufficient room. However, this does not apply to students with disabilities who live in the district.
23 For students in certain circumstances, including geographic barriers, access to transportation, or if a child's sibling attends a school in another district, the child is under state care or is required to attend school outside of the distict because of group home placement or foster care.
24 Mandatory intradistrict has some limitations. Districts are required to adopt standards for acceptance and rejection of open enrollment option applications. Open enrollment transfers are available among districts in a learning community (a partnership between multiple districts).
25 In limited circumstances, or for students living on an Indian reservation located in two school districts.
26 School districts may apply to participate as choice districts.
27 For students in low-performing schools.
28 There is a voluntary interdistrict "urban-suburban transfer program" designed to reduce racial isolation by allowing minority students to transfer in and out of participating urban and suburban school districts. Participating districts must provide policies about student participation for transferring students.
29 For students attending alternative schools.
30 For children of active-duty military personnel who meet specific criteria.
31 For students attending low-performing schools or for bullying or safety issues.
32 For high school students.
NOTE: Open-enrollment policies allow students to transfer from one public school to another of their choice. States’ open-enrollment policies may allow for voluntary or mandatory participation at the district level, and they can also allow for intradistrict transfer, interdistrict transfer or both. Intradistrict open enrollment policies allow students to transfer to another school within their resident school district. Interdistrict open enrollment policies allow students to transfer to another school outside of their resident school district. Voluntary open-enrollment policies allow schools or districts to decide whether they will accept transfer students who live outside of their boundaries. In contrast, mandatory policies require all schools or districts to accept transfer students, although mandatory policies may be subject to restrictions. A number of states have both voluntary and mandatory open-enrollment policies. Typically, these states require mandatory open enrollment in low-performing districts, in defined regions of the state or in other specific circumstances, while also allowing voluntary open enrollment in the rest of the state.
SOURCE: Education Commission of the States, Open Enrollment: 50-State Report, retrieved January 8, 2018 from Data Source.