Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile

Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile - Minnesota

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 interdistrict.

Receiving school districts may limit enrollment of nonresident students and must adopt standards for accepting or rejecting applications.

Citations: Minn. Stat. Ann. § 124D.03, § 124D.08

Do desegregation provisions impact open enrollment programs? Receiving districts with achievement and integration plans may accept transfer applications at any time, although the districts are still allowed to limit enrollment. Districts must give priority to applications related to an approved integration and achievement plan.

Citations: Minn. Stat. Ann. § 124D.03

Does the state set priorities for districts to follow when accepting students for open enrollment? Yes. If a district has more transfer requests than space available, the district must hold a lottery and the following student groups must receive priority:
  • Siblings of currently enrolled students.
  • Applications related to an approved integration and achievement plan.
  • Children of school district staff.
  • Students living in municipalities meeting specific criteria.
Districts may refuse enrollment for students who have been expelled for specific reasons.

Citations: Minn. Stat. Ann. § 124D.03

Who is responsible for student transportation? The receiving, or nonresident, school district must provide transportation within the district when requested by the parent, but is not responsible for transportation to and from the district's border. Receiving districts may reimburse income-eligible students for the cost of transport to the district border. Receiving districts may apply to the commissioner of education to reimburse the cost of transporting open enrollment students contributing to desegregation or integration plans.

Citations: Minn. Stat. Ann. § 124D.03, § 124D.87


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