Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile

Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile - Michigan

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 for low-performing schools; voluntary intradistrict and interdistrict at the intermediate district level. 

Mandatory: Students attending a school that has been unaccredited for three consecutive years must be allowed to attend another school within the school district.

Voluntary: Intermediate districts may allow students to attend other school districts within the intermediate district or may accept transfer students residing in a contiguous intermediate district. Receiving school districts may make determinations about the grades, schools and special programs for which open enrollment is available. The receiving school district may limit the number of nonresident students it accepts in a grade, school or program.

Citations: Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 380.1280, § 388.1705, § 388.1705c

Do desegregation provisions impact open enrollment programs? If the school district is subject to a court-ordered desegregation plan, the district may prohibit students from transferring in or out.

Citations: Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 388.1705, § 388.1705c

Does the state set priorities for districts to follow when accepting students for open enrollment? Yes. Under voluntary intradistrict and interdistrict open enrollment, receiving districts must give priority to siblings of enrolled students. If the number of transfer requests exceeds capacity, the receiving district must hold a lottery and create a waiting list. A district may refuse students who have been suspended from another school within the past two years or expelled at any time.

Citations: Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 388.1705, § 388.1705c

Who is responsible for student transportation? Parents are responsible for transportation.

Citations: Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 388.1705, § 388.1705c


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