Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile

Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile - Florida

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, mandatory intradistrict and interdistrict. School districts and charter schools must enroll any student subject to capacity, and must identify school capacity determinations on their websites.

Citations: Fla. Stat. Ann. § 1002.31

Do desegregation provisions impact open enrollment programs? Participating districts must adhere to federal desegregation requirements and must maintain socioeconomic, demographic, and racial balance.

Citations: Fla. Stat. Ann. § 1002.31

Does the state set priorities for districts to follow when accepting students for open enrollment? Yes. School districts must give preferential treatment to the following groups: 
  • Dependent children of active duty military personnel whose move resulted from military orders. 
  • Children relocated due to a foster care placement in a different school zone. 
  • Children who move because of a court-ordered custody change. 
  • Students residing in the school district.
In addition, each school district must do the following: 
  • Allow parents to declare school preferences, especially for placing siblings in the same school.
  • Provide a lottery for school placement, including an appeals process for hardship cases.
  • Maintain socioeconomic, demographic and racial balance.
  • Provide parents of students in multiple session schools priority access.
  • Address the availability of transportation.
  • Allow transfer students to be immediately eligible to participate in extracurricular activities. However, students may not participate in a sport if the student participated in the same sport at another school during the school year, unless the student meets certain criteria.
  • Identify schools in the district that have not reached capacity. 
Districts and charter schools may not displace students living in the school district with non-resident students.

Citations: Fla. Stat. Ann. § 1002.31

Who is responsible for student transportation? Parents are responsible for transportation. School districts and charter schools may, but are not required to, provide transportation. 

Citations: Fla. Stat. Ann. § 1002.31


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