Intradistrict or Interdistrict? Mandatory or Voluntary School District Participation?
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Intradistrict or Interdistrict? Mandatory or Voluntary School District Participation?

Last updated: September 2011. Please contact Senior Policy Analyst Jennifer Dounay Zinth (303.299.3689 or jdounay@ecs.org) with questions or comments about the database.

Intradistrict or Interdistrict? Mandatory or Voluntary School District Participation? Citations
Alabama

No policy identified.

Alaska

Intradistrict/mandatory. With preference given to low-income students, this regulation allows students in low-performing schools, as designated by the state, to attend a different school within their school district.

Arizona

Intradistrict/mandatory and interdistrict/mandatory. Allows students to enroll in any school within the school district in which they live or in any school located within other school districts in the state.

Arkansas

(1) Interdistrict/mandatory and intradistrict/mandatory policy. This policy allows any student to transfer from a failing school to another public school in the state.

(2) Interdistrict/mandatory policy. This policy allows a student to apply for admission to a school in any district beyond the one in which the student resides, provided that the transfer by this student would not adversely affect the desegregation of either district.

(3) Intradistrict/voluntary, pertains to administratively consolidated districts.

California

(1) Intradistrict/mandatory. Includes a selection policy for any school that receives requests for admission in excess of the capacity of the school that ensures that selection of students to enroll in the school is made through a random, unbiased process that prohibits an evaluation of whether any student should be enrolled based upon his or her academic or athletic performance.

(2) Interdistrict/voluntary.

(3) Interdistrict/voluntary.

(4) Interdistrict/voluntary, aimed at students attending low-performing schools.

Colorado

(1) Intradistrict/mandatory and interdistrict/mandatory. Gives preference to applicants with proficiency ratings of unsatisfactory in one or more academic areas who attend an unsatisfactory school.

(2) Intradistrict/mandatory and interdistrict/voluntary. Allows low-income students in 1st-8th grades in low-performing schools to use transportation tokens to attend a different school within their school district or a school within another school district, if the other school district agrees to accept such students.

Connecticut

(1) Intradistrict/voluntary. Allows parents to select the public school that their child will attend provided the school is in the school district in which the child resides.

(2) Intradistrict/voluntary and interdistrict/voluntary. Allows local and regional boards of education to offer intradistrict and interdistrict public school choice programs for the purpose of increasing awareness of the diversity of individuals and cultures.

(3) Interdistrict/mandatory. In the 1998-99 school year, the state began phasing in this open-enrollment program to improve academic achievement, reduce racial, ethnic and economic isolation, and to provide a choice of educational programs for students. During the 2001-02 school year, the program became operational in every priority district in the state.

Delaware

Delaware has enacted two open enrollment policies.



(1) Intradistrict/mandatory. Any parent of a school age child may apply to enroll his or her child in a school or program in a receiving district by submitting a written application.

(2) Interdistrict/mandatory.
District of Columbia

No policy identified.

Florida

(1) Intradistrict/mandatory. Allows students in low-performing schools to use an opportunity scholarship to attend a higher-scoring public school, a private school or a parochial school.

(2) Allows school districts to offer controlled open enrollment in order to allow school assignments using parents' indicated preferential school choice as a significant factor.

Georgia

(1) Intradistrict/mandatory. Allows students in low-performing schools to attend a different school within their school district.

(2) Intradistrict/mandatory and interdistrict/mandatory. Allows the parent or guardian of a student enrolled in a public school to request reassignment to a public school within the school district if the school to which the student has been assigned does not have available permanent classroom space. It also allows the parent or guardian to request reassignment to a public school located in another school district if the student’s place of residence is located closer to such school, regardless of the school district in which the closer school is located.

(3) Interdistrict/voluntary. Allows the state board of education to permit students to enroll in a school in another school district. Grant or refusal of permission for students to attend such schools, for the purpose of permitting state funds to follow such students, is entirely discretionary with the state board. School districts can contract with each other for the care, education, and transportation of students and for such other activities as they may be authorized by law to perform.

(4) Intradistrict/mandatory. Allows students to enroll in another school in their district if there is space left after assigned students have enrolled.

Hawaii

Intradistrict/voluntary. States that all persons of school age are required to attend the school of the district in which they reside, unless it appears to the state department to be desirable to allow the attendance of students at a school in some other district, in which case the department may grant this permission.

Idaho

Intradistrict/mandatory and interdistrict/mandatory. A district must admit students from another district except when the transfer would work a hardship on the receiving district.

Illinois

Intradistrict/mandatory. With certain restrictions, allows the transfer of a student from one attendance center to another within the school district upon the request of the student's parent or guardian.

Indiana

(1) Intradistrict/mandatory. Allows parents in the Indianapolis school district to choose the school within the school district that their child will attend.

(2) Interdistrict/voluntary. Allows the parents of any student (or students over 18) to request a transfer from a school in which the student has a legal settlement to a transferee school in Indiana or another state. In some cases, the parents are responsible for paying tuition to the transferee school.

Iowa

Interdistrict/mandatory. Allows a parent or guardian residing in a school district to enroll his or her child in a public school in another school district.

Kansas Interdistrict/voluntary. Allows boards of education to enter into agreements that would allow K-12 students who live in one district to attend school in another district.
Kentucky (1) Intradistrict/mandatory and interdistrict/mandatory. Allows students in low-performing schools to attend a higher-performing school within their district or a school in another school district if no higher-performing school is available in their district.

(2) Enables two districts to enter into a written agreement to enter into a nonresident student contract for more than one year.

Louisiana

(1) Intradistrict/mandatory and interdistrict/mandatory. Allows students in the Recovery district to transfer to other schools within or without the district.

(2) Interdistrict/voluntary. Allows local school boards to, by mutual agreement, provide for the admission to any school of pupils residing in adjoining parishes and for transfer of school funds or other payments by one board to another for, or on account of, such attendance.

Maine (1) Interdistrict/voluntary. Allows an elementary or secondary student to attend an approved private or public school in any school administrative unit with the consent of the receiving school's school board.

(2) Intradistrict/mandatory. Authorizes districts to establish "innovative, autonomous" schools within their districts. All such schools must be open to enrollment from all students in the district, subject to district-adopted policies to establish maximum enrollment.

Maryland

No policy identified.

Massachusetts

(1) Intradistrict/mandatory. Designed to address racial imbalances in Massachusetts’ schools.

(2) Interdistrict/voluntary.

(3) Interdistrict/voluntary. Designed to address racial imbalances in urban and suburban school districts.

(4) The fourth one is an interdistrict/voluntary policy.

Michigan

(1) Intradistrict/mandatory. Allows students in low-performing schools to attend a different school within their school district.

(2) Interdistrict/voluntary. Allows a district to determine whether or not it will accept applications for enrollment by nonresident applicants residing within the same intermediate district for the next school year.

Minnesota (1) Interdistrict/mandatory. Establishes an enrollment options program to enable any pupil to attend a school or program in a district in which the pupil does not reside, subject to certain limitations.

(2) Interdistrict/voluntary.

Mississippi

Interdistrict/mandatory. Allows students living in one school district to transfer to another school district by the mutual consent of the school boards of all school districts concerned.

Missouri

(1) Interdistrict/mandatory. Allows students whose districts of residence constitute an unusual or unreasonable transportation hardship because of natural barriers, travel time, or distance to attend another district and allows students in districts that do not maintain an accredited school, as designated by the state, to attend a school within another district in the same county or in an adjoining county.

(2) Interdistrict/voluntary. A statewide policy, it does not apply to any district in a county of the first classification having a charter form of government or to any district within the city of St. Louis.

(3) Interdistrict/voluntary. Creates a voluntary, interdistrict open-enrollment program in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

(4) Interdistrict/voluntary. Allows the school board of any district, in its discretion, to admit to the school pupils not entitled to free instruction and prescribe the tuition fee to be paid by them, except for certain exemptions.

Montana

(1) Interdistrict/voluntary.

(2) Interdistrict/mandatory.

Nebraska (1) Interdistrict/mandatory. Establishes an enrollment options program to enable any student to attend a school or program in a district in which the student does not reside, subject to certain limitations.

(2) Intradistrict/mandatory. Pertains primarily to schools in the Omaha metropolitan area. (The Learning Community is made up of numerous districts within the Omaha metropolitan area.)

Nevada

Interdistrict/voluntary. Allows districts to admit students living in an adjoining school districts, in-state and out-of-state. Authorizes districts to pay tuition for students attending school in an adjoining school district.

New Hampshire

Intradistrict/voluntary and interdistrict/voluntary. Authorizes school boards to designate schools as open-enrollment schools. Students may transfer to open-enrollment schools in their district of residence, or to schools outside of their district of residence.

New Jersey

Interdistrict/voluntary. Authorizes districts to apply to the commissioner of education to become choice districts.

New Mexico

(1) Intradistrict/mandatory. Requires districts to establish priorities for enrolling students, the first of which is residency in the district. If there is room in the school students must be admitted in order of state-determined priority. The second priority is to enroll students from low-performing schools.

(2) Intradistrict/voluntary and interdistrict/voluntary policy. Allows school boards to admit students from outside the district. School boards may also permit students to transfer to another school within the school district.

(3) Interdistrict/mandatory and intradistrict/mandatory. Provides parent of a student enrolled in a public school rated F for two of the last four years the right to transfer the student to any public school in the state not rated F. Also provides identified parents with the right to have the student continue schooling by means of distance learning offered through the statewide or a local cyber academy. The school district or charter school in which the student is enrolled is responsible for the cost of distance learning.

New York

Interdistrict/voluntary.

North Carolina

No policy identified.

North Dakota

Interdistrict/voluntary. Allows a parent to apply to a non-resident district to enroll their child. The non-resident district board may accept or deny applications. Boards are directed to adopt policies for the acceptance or denial of applications.

Ohio (1) Intradistrict/mandatory.

(2) Interdistrict/voluntary. Requires districts to enact a resolution determining whether it will admit nonresident pupils to its schools.
Oklahoma

Interdistrict/mandatory. Allows students to transfer to schools in other districts with the approval of the receiving district.

Oregon

(1) Interdistrict/voluntary.

(2) Interdistrict/voluntary.

Pennsylvania

Interdistrict/voluntary.

Puerto Rico

Intradistrict/mandatory and interdistrict/mandatory.

Rhode Island

Interdistrict/voluntary. Authorizes two districts to enter into an agreement to allow a student to attend school in the nonresident district if it is determined that it will be more convenient or expedient. Tuition may be paid out of the district's appropriation for public schools.

South Carolina

(1) Interdistrict/voluntary.

(2) Interdistrict/voluntary. Authorizes district boards to consent to transfers of students from outside of district boundaries if they determine that it would better accommodate the student.

(3) Interdistrict/voluntary policy. The policy authorizes students to attend school in a county adjacent to theirs upon application to the receiving district by the county of residence's county school board.

South Dakota

(1) Intradistrict/mandatory and interdistrict/mandatory. The enrollment options program enables any student to attend any public school in any school district.

(2) Interdistrict/mandatory. Allows for interdistrict enrollment as long as it can be done without injuring or overcrowding the school.

Tennessee

Intradistrict/voluntary and interdistrict/voluntary.

Texas

(1) Intradistrict/mandatory and interdistrict/voluntary. Allows students in low-performing schools to attend different schools within their district. Other districts may agree to let admit such students as well.

(2) Intradistrict/voluntary.

(3) Interdistrict/voluntary.

Utah

Intradistrict/mandatory and an interdistrict/mandatory. Requires districts to admit out-of-district or out-of-attendance area students when enrollment is below the threshold established by the state board. Local boards retain control over rules governing acceptance or rejection of applications within parameters set by legislation and state board.

Vermont (1) Interdistrict/voluntary. Authorizes school boards to admit students from outside their districts.

(2) Interdistrict/mandatory. Requires all districts with high schools to enter into an agreement with at least one other district to form a school choice region. With certain limitations, students are free to enroll in any high school in the school choice region.

Virginia

Interdistrict/voluntary and an intradistrict/voluntary. Directs the state board to promulgate regulations that will allow for districts to voluntarily establish intradistrict enrollment policies, or to enter into agreements with other districts to establish interdistrict enrollment.

Washington

(1) Intradistrict/mandatory.

(2) Interdistrict/mandatory.

West Virginia

(1) Intradistrict/voluntary. Upon the request of any parent or guardian, or for reasons affecting the best interests of the schools, a superintendent may transfer students from one school to another within the county.

(2) Interdistrict/voluntary. Gives the board of education of each county the authority to transfer pupils on a part-time or full-time basis from one school district to another school district within the state.

Wisconsin

(1) Interdistrict/mandatory. Creates a statewide open enrollment program.

(2) intradistrict/voluntary and interdistrict/voluntary. The primary goal is to promote racial integration in the Milwaukee school district and its surrounding suburban districts.

Wyoming

Intradistrict/voluntary.

Last updated September 2011.


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