Open Enrollment: Overview and 2016 Legislative Update. Policy AnalysisReport as inadecuate

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Education Commission of the States

Open-enrollment policies allow students to transfer from one public school to another of their choice. While open-enrollment policies involve students transferring to another school or district, the specifics of these policies vary significantly across states. 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. This policy analysis provides an overview of open-enrollment policies across the country, as well as a 2016 state-by-state legislative update.

Descriptors: Open Enrollment, Public Schools, Educational Legislation, State Legislation, Transfer Students, Transfer Policy, State Policy, Policy Analysis, Educational Change, School Desegregation

Education Commission of the States. ECS Distribution Center, 700 Broadway Suite 1200, Denver, CO 80203-3460. Tel: 303-299-3692; Fax: 303-296-8332; e-mail: ecs[at]; Web site:

Author: Wixom, Micah Ann


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