Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile

Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile - Rhode Island

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 interdistrict and intradistrict. School committees may arrange student transfers with the school committees in an adjoining community.

Citations: R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 16-2-19

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? The state provides for transportation for students who attend a school located outside the city or town where they reside but only within defined tranportation regions.

Citations: R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 16-21.1-1


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