Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile

Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile - Nebraska

Last updated: November 2015

Open-enrollment policies allow a student to transfer to a public school of his or her choice. There are two basic types of open-enrollment policies:

  • Intradistrict allows students to transfer to another school within the student’s resident school district.
  • Interdistrict allows students to transfer a school outside of the student’s resident district.

Depending on the state, open-enrollment policies are either mandatory or voluntary.  

  • Mandatory policies require districts to participate in the program.
  • Voluntary policies allow districts to choose whether to participate in open enrollment, often allowing school districts the discretion to enter into transfer agreements with other districts.
  • Several states have both mandatory and voluntary policies, usually requiring mandatory open enrollment in low-performing schools or districts, in defined regions of the state or in other specific circumstances and allowing voluntary open enrollment in the rest of the state.

View the full open enrollment database here.  Please contact Micah Ann Wixom (303.299.3673 or with questions or comments.

Open Enrollment Survey 2015
Does the state have open enrollment programs? Yes, mandatory intradistrict, with some limitations, and mandatory interdistrict.

Districts are required to adopt standards for acceptance and rejection of open enrollment option applications. Standards may include the capacity of a program, class, grade level, or school building or the availability of appropriate special education programs. Denial of a student's open enrollment application may be appealed to the state board of education.
Do desegregation provisions impact open enrollment programs? Diversity plans must provide for open enrollment between all buildings in a learning community. Diversity is based upon socioeconomic status of students.
Does the state set priorities for districts to follow when accepting students for open enrollment? Yes. A student may transfer once prior to graduation unless:
  • The receiving district merges with another district.
  • The receiving district only has elementary grades.
  • The student has completed all the grades offered in the receiving school and is transitioning to another school level (e.g. elementary to middle school, middle school to high school).
  • The transfer would allow the student to continue current enrollment in the receiving district.
  • The transfer would allow the student to enroll in a district where he or she was previously enrolled as a resident student.
Priorities are first to siblings and second, if in a learning community, to students living in the community who contribute to socioeconomic diversity at school building.
Who is responsible for student transportation? Parents are responsible for transportation; however, the receiving school district may provide transportation on the same basis as provided for resident students and may charge a fee sufficient to recover the additional costs. Students eligible for free lunch are eligible for transportation reimbursement. For students with disabilities, transportation services are provided by the sending school district, which is reimbursed by the state.

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