Interdistrict open enrollment allows students to attend a public school outside of their district of residence. Mandatory open enrollment policies require districts to accept transfer students, although schools are often allowed to set their own enrollment limits and have some flexibility to choose which students are accepted. When not associated with an intentional desegregation program, open enrollment policies in some Midwestern states are associated with increased school segregation by both race and income. The most equitable and successful interdistrict choice systems provide stable state support for tuition and transportation costs, as well as specific enrollment criteria to ensure that all students can access school options. House Bill 1814 would allow parents to enroll their children in school districts where they own residential or agricultural property within a school district if they have paid school taxes on those properties for the previous 3 years. The proposed legislation also provides several procedures for students to transfer to schools in other districts and would allow mileage reimbursements to parents transporting transferred students if they qualify for the free and reduced-price lunch programs. Additionally, a “Parent Public School Choice Fund'' would be established with a $60 million dollar appropriation to pay for qualifying mileage reimbursements and for special needs education of transferred students.
This Note has been updated. You can access the previous version (published December 2020) here.