Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile

Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile - Delaware

Last updated: October 2017

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: students transfer to another school within their resident school district.
  • Interdistrict: students transfer a school outside of their resident district.

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

  • 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.
  • States with both mandatory and voluntary policies usually require mandatory open enrollment in low-performing schools or districts, in defined regions of the state or in other specific circumstances while 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 mwixom@ecs.org) with questions or comments.


Open Enrollment Survey 2017
Does the state have open enrollment programs? Yes, mandatory intradistrict and interdistrict. School districts may deny student enrollment for "lack of capacity," defined as projected enrollment school enrollment at 85% of capacity.

Citations: Del. Code Ann. tit. 14, § 401 to § 414

Do desegregation provisions impact open enrollment programs? Open enrollment must not conflict with a court-ordered desegregation plan. If it would, districts must establish a number of majority and minority group students who may transfer into or out of the district.

Citations: Del. Code Ann. tit. 14, § 405, § 406

Does the state set priorities for districts to follow when accepting students for open enrollment? Yes. Receiving districts must give priority to the following in order:
  • Returning students.
  • Students living in a school's designated feeder zone.
  • Siblings of currently enrolled students, with preference for siblings who live in the district.
After giving priority to the first three student groups, districts may give priority to student groups in the following order:
  • Students who have designated the school or program as a first, second, or third choice.
  • Students who live within the district.
  • Children of school employees.
After the district has admitted all qualifying students based on these criteria the district must use a lottery and a ranked waiting list. Receiving districts may also deny enrollment for students expelled from the home district for 15 or more days.

Citations: Del. Code Ann. tit. 14, § 405, § 411

Who is responsible for student transportation? Parents are responsible for transportation.

Citations: Del. Code Ann. tit. 14, § 409


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