Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile

Open Enrollment Policies: State Profile - South Dakota

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. Local school boards must create standards for accepting and rejecting applications, which may only address the capacity of a program, class, grade level or school building. Local school boards accept applications and students are accepted at the board's discretion. Intradistrict transfer applications may be accepted and acted upon by local schol boards at any time.

Citations: S.D. Code Ann. § 13-28-21, § 13-28-22; § 13-28-40 through § 13-28-48

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. Applications are reviewed in the order they are received, but applications for siblings of currently enrolled students have priority.

Citations: S.D. Code Ann. § 13-28-43, § 13-28-44

Who is responsible for student transportation? Parents are responsible for transportation, and sending or receiving districts are not required to provide transportation. However, the receiving district may enter into an agreement to provide transportation within the boundaries of a sending district at an approved pick-up location. Receiving districts may charge a reasonable fee.

Citations: S.D. Code Ann. § 13-28-41.1, § 13-28-45

© 2021 by the Education Commission of the States (ECS). All rights reserved. ECS is the only nationwide, nonpartisan interstate compact devoted to education. 700 Broadway #810, Denver, CO 80203-3442

To request permission to excerpt part of this publication, either in print or electronically, please contact the Education Commission of the States’ Communications Department at 303.299.3636 or

Your Education Policy Team