Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile - California
Last updated: October 2017
|Open Enrollment Survey 2017|
|Does the state have open enrollment programs?
Yes, voluntary intradistrict and interdistrict; mandatory intradistrict and interdistrict under the Open Enrollment Act for students attending low-performing schools and/or districts.
Voluntary: School district governing boards may decide to accept interdistrict transfers. Participating districts must register as a school district of choice, determine the number of students the district will accept, and accept transfers until the district is at maximum capacity. School districts must allow students from active-duty military families to transfer to another district if the receiving school district approves the transfer application. In addition, school districts may enter into interdistrict transfer agreements with other school districts for up to 5 years. Sending districts may limit transfers in the following circumstances:
- Districts with more than 50,000 students may limit transfer to 1% of the current year estimated average daily attendance.
- Districts with 50,000 students or less may limit transfers to 3% or 10% of current year estimated average daily attendance.
- Districts with a negative status on their budget certification may limit the number of transfers.
- If the district would not meet fiscal stability standards due to student transfers.
Mandatory: The State Superintendent of Public Instruction must create an annual list of 1,000 low-performing schools, and no more than 10% of a district's schools may be on the list. Parents of students in one of these schools may apply to transfer to higher performing school in the district or in another district. A receiving district may adopt standards for acceptance and rejection of applications, which may include program, class, grade level, building capacity, or adverse financial impact.
Citations: Cal. Educ. Code § 46600, § 48300 to § 48317, § 48350 to § 48361
|Do desegregation provisions impact open enrollment programs?
||Under both voluntary and mandatory provisions, sending or receiving districts may prohibit a transfer if it would negatively impact a court-ordered or voluntary desegregation plan or the racial and ethnic balance of the district, not including transfers for children of active-duty military personnel.|
Citations: Cal. Educ. Code § 48355, § 48307
|Does the state set priorities for districts to follow when accepting students for open enrollment?
Voluntary: Receiving districts must give priority in the following order, but may not displace students residing in the district.
A district may determine the number of transfers it is willing to accept and hold an enrollment lottery if the number of applications exceeds space. Receiving districts may not reject a transfer if the cost of educating the student exceeds state aid. Any receiving district may admit a student expelled from a sending district.
- Siblings of students already attending the district.
- Students eligible for free or reduced-price meals.
- Children of military personnel.
Mandatory: Receiving districts must give priority in the following order.
Districts also give priority to students residing in the district. If the number of applicants exceeds space available, the school must conduct a lottery from the two priority groups until available spaces are filled.
- Siblings of students already attending the school.
- Students transferring from a low-performing school with certain criteria.
Citations: Cal. Educ. Code § 48301, § 48303, § 48304, § 48306, § 48356, § 46600
|Who is responsible for student transportation?
||Upon the request of the parent, receiving districts may provide transportation assistance to the extent that the district otherwise provides transportation assistance to other students.|
Citations: Cal. Educ. Code § 48311
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