Keep student transfer law alive

January 9, 2019 | The Bulletin

Oregon students who wish to attend school outside their home districts may have trouble doing so next school year. They may, that is, unless the state Legislature acts this year to extend the 2011 law that makes it easier for students to cross district lines to attend school.

Interdistrict (those from one school district to another) transfers were a hot topic eight years ago when the law allowing such transfers to occur was approved. Before the law was changed a student needed permission both to leave one district and to enroll in another.

The 2011 Legislature gave students the right to transfer without their home districts’ permission, if the prospective new districts agreed. There are limits to the freedom, however. Among them, school districts cannot go out and persuade athletes to abandon one district for another. Nor must school districts take part in open enrollment if they’d rather not. The law gives districts the right not to accept out-of-district students and the money that goes with them; it bars districts that would lose students from stopping the transfer. That’s the case in Culver, a district with fewer than 700 students in grades K-12.

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