Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile

Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile - New Mexico

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, voluntary intradistrict and interdistrict; mandatory intradistrict and interdistrict for students in low-performing schools. Boards of receiving school districts may admit non-resident students if space is available. Students attending a low-performing school must be allowed to transfer to another school in the state.

Citations: N.M. Stat. Ann. § 22-1-4, § 22-12-5, § 22-2E-2
N.M. Admin Code. 6.19.8.7, 6.19.8.8

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. Receiving districts must give priority in the following order:
  1. Students residing in the school district or school attendance area or children of active-duty military personnel who lived in the area prior to deployment.
  2. Students enrolled in a low-performing school.
  3. Students who previously attended the school.
Receiving districts may establish additional enrollment preference, such as after-school care for students, children of school employees, siblings already attending the school, and so on. If applications exceed space available, the receiving district must create a ranked waiting list based on priority enrollment. Receiving districts may deny enrollment to students previously expelled from any school in the state during the previous 12 months.

Citations: N.M. Stat. Ann. § 22-1-4

Who is responsible for student transportation? Districts are responsible for transportation when a student transfers to another school within the same district, although the local board may reimburse parents for travel costs. Sending districts are not responsible for students who transfer to another school district. Receiving districts may make policies about transporting out-of-district students at no additional cost to the school transportation fund, including boarding the bus at the last stop on an approved route if space is available.

Citations: N.M. Admin. Code 6.42.2.10, 6.19.8.8, 6.43.2.15


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