Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile

Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile - District of Columbia

Last updated: October 2018

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 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 2018
Does the state have open enrollment programs? Yes, voluntary intradistrict. Students may apply for a transfer under circumstances, based on enrollment priorities. Transfers are approved by the Chancellor.

Citations: D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 5-E, § 2106

Do desegregation provisions impact open enrollment programs? Not addressed.
Does the state set priorities for districts to follow when accepting students for open enrollment? Yes. Preference is given to students based on the following:
  • The student's sibling attends the school.
  • The student resides within a reasonable walking distance.
  • The requested school is preferred to the designated school.
The district must use a lottery to determine enrollment.

Citations: D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 5-E, § 2106

Who is responsible for student transportation? Not addressed.

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