Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile

Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile - Illinois

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.  


Open Enrollment Survey 2018
Does the state have open enrollment programs? Yes, mandatory intradistrict but only at the request of a parent and in certain circumstances. School districts must have a policy governing transfers of students to another school within the district at the request of the student's parent or guardian. However, there are statutory limits on which schools a student may transfer to, including schools where the transfer to exceed capacity, schools with academic criteria (unless the students meet the criteria) or transfers that would interfere with existing law, consent decrees or court orders. In addition, each school district must have a policy governing the transfer to students from a persistently dangerous school. 

Citations: 105 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/10-21.3a

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? Not addressed.

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