Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile

Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile - Maine

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, voluntary intradistrict and interdistrict. Students may attend another school with permission from the receiving school, and school districts may adopt mutual policies allowing students to transfer between the districts. Students living far from their assigned school may attend school in an adjoining district with permission from both districts. Students in districts without an elementary school or in districts with 10 or fewer students may attend school in another district.

Citations: Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 20-A-2702, § 20-A-5203, § 20-A-5204, § 20-5205

Do desegregation provisions impact open enrollment programs? Not addressed.
Does the state set priorities for districts to follow when accepting students for open enrollment? Not addressed.
Who is responsible for student transportation? When a sending district has a contract with another district because the sending district does not have a school, the sending district is responsible for transportation costs. When school districts have policies allowing transfers between school districts, the policies must address transportation issues. In other cases, the parents are responsible for transportation costs. 

Citations: Me. Rev. stat. Ann. § 20-A-5401, § 20-A-5203, § 20-5205


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