Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile

Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile - Arizona

Last updated: October 2017

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 school 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.  Please contact Micah Ann Wixom (303.299.3673 or with questions or comments.

Open Enrollment Survey 2017
Does the state have open enrollment programs? Yes, mandatory intradistrict and interdistrict. School districts must establish open enrollment policies, including admission criteria, application procedures, and transportation provisions. School districts may enter into voluntary agreements with other school districts for tuition payments for certain students.

Citations: Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15-816 and § 15-816.01

Do desegregation provisions impact open enrollment programs? The legislature repealed desegregation provisions in the state's open enrollment policies during the 2017 legislative session.

Citations: Arizona S.B. 1254 (2017)

Does the state set priorities for districts to follow when accepting students for open enrollment? No. However, districts may give preference to children of school or school district employees or to students in foster care. 

Citations: Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15-816.01

Who is responsible for student transportation? Each district's open enrollment policies must include transportation provisions. A receiving district may provide transportation for income-eligible students living in an adjacent school district, up to 20 miles each way to and from the school or a point on a regular transportation route. A receiving district must provide transportation, up to 20 miles each way, for students with a disability or an individualized education plan.  

Citations: Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15-816.01

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