Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile

Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile - West Virginia

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.

Upon written request of a parent, county boards may transfer students from one school to another with the county. Transfers from one county to another county must be approved by both county boards. Parents may appeal if a sending or receiving county school district refuses a transfer. During the appeals process the state superintendent must consider the following factors:
  • Travel time of student
  • Impact of transfers on on levies or bonds.
  • Financial impact on the county of residence.
County boards may allow high school students to transfer if geography is a factor and there is a high school is closer to the student in another county. County boards of education "are encouraged" to enter into intercounty transfer arrangements to reduce the need for school facilities and reduce transportation times for students.

Citations: W. Va. Code Ann. § 18-5-16, § 18-5-16a W. Va. Code R. 126-185, 126-189

Do desegregation provisions impact open enrollment programs? Not addressed.
Does the state set priorities for districts to follow when accepting students for open enrollment? No. However, school districts must consider interdistrict transfer applications from parents due to student travel time or school location.

Citations: W. Va. Code Ann. § 18-5-16

Who is responsible for student transportation? Sending and receiving county boards must determine the method of transportation. Sending county boards are responsible for transportation if the county board has initiatied the transfer plan.

Citations: W. Va. Code R. 126-189-3


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