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.
Depending on the state, open-enrollment policies are mandatory, voluntary, or both.
View the full open enrollment database here.
|Open Enrollment Survey 2018|
|Does the state have open enrollment programs?||Yes, mandatory interdistrict, with some limitations; mandatory interdistrict for students attending a school districts classified as being in facilities distress. |
Students may apply to transfer to a school in any school district. Each school year sending school districts are subject to a limit on the number of school choice transfers they may allow. The limit is 3% of the previous school year's enrollment, minus any school choice transfers into the district. A 2018 bill passed by the Arkansas legislature allows school districts to exceed this limit for sibling groups. Students transferred out of a district in facilities distress and foster students are not included in the cap. Students denied a transfer may request a hearing with the state board. Districts must adopt standards for accepting or rejecting applications, which may include lack of capacity of a program, class, grade level or building. Students may only have one open-enrollment transfer per school year but may return to their resident school district or enroll in private or home school during the school year.
Students attending a school district classified as in need of Level 5 - Intensive Support may transfer to another school district without a Level 5 - Intensive Support classification.
Citations: Ark. Code Ann. § 6-18-227; § 6-18-1901 to § 6-18-1908; § 6-15-2915; § 6-21-812
|Do desegregation provisions impact open enrollment programs?||Desegregation court orders or court-approved plans have precedence over the open enrollment statutes. School districts claiming a conflict under an order or plan must provide proof of a genuine conflict.|
Citations: Ark. Code Ann. § 6-18-1906, § 6-18-227
|Does the state set priorities for districts to follow when accepting students for open enrollment?||Yes. School districts must give priority to siblings if space is available. During the first year a school district is not subject to transfer limits, sending districts must give first priority to students unable to transfer due to transfer limits in prior years. |
Citations: Ark. Code Ann. § 16-18-1903, § 16-18-1906
|Who is responsible for student transportation?||Parents are responsible for transportation. Receiving districts may enter into an agreement with the student, student's parent, or the sending district to provide transportation. When a student transfers from a school district under facilities distress, the sending district must pay for transportation.|
Citations: Ark. Code Ann. § 6-18-1904, § 6-21-812