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School Choice

The Division of Elementary and Secondary Education created a new school choice application form aligned with the 2021 Rules Governing Public School Choice. The application is followed by a Frequently Asked Questions document to assist districts and parents in the school choice process. If families have already submitted a request for a school choice transfer on the previous version of the form, there is no need to ask families to resubmit their request using the new form.

 

The application and FAQ may also be found on the Division's website at http://adecm.arkansas.gov/Attachments/School_Choice_Form_and_FAQ_152003.pdf

 

The Rules Governing Public School Choice may be found on the Division's website at http://adecm.arkansas.gov/Attachments/FINAL_Rules_Governing_Public_School_Choice_152049.pdf.

 

 

Arkansas Public School Choice Act of 2015

Memo Information

Memo Number COM-22-069

Memo Date 11/1/2021

 

The following timeline applies to the Arkansas Public School Choice Act of 2015. 

January 1 - May 1:  In accordance with Act 490 of 2021 (codified at Ark. Code Ann. § 6-18-1905(a)), the window period for applicant filing and school districts accepting school choice applications for the 2022-2023 school year begins on January 1, 2022 and runs through May 1, 2022.  Each school district must have a policy stating the methods by which an application may be submitted to the school district, but in no event may the district require that an application be submitted in person.  

Applicants must submit school choice applications to the nonresident district and the student's resident district.  The application must be delivered or postmarked no later than May 1 of the calendar year in which the student seeks to begin the fall semester at the nonresident district.  However, if a student has a parent or guardian who is an active-duty member of the military who has been transferred to and resides on a military base, and who provides military transfer orders and documentation that confirms the date of transfer to and residence on the military base, then the student's application for a transfer is not subject to the May 1 deadline.  Instead, the applicant must file an application for a transfer within fifteen (15) days of the parent or guardian's arrival on the military base and must include the above documents.  

Upon receipt of a school choice application, both the resident district and nonresident district shall place a date and time stamp on the application that reflects the date and time each district received the application.  The nonresident district shall review and make a determination on each application in the order in which the application was received by the nonresident district.  

By July 1:  The superintendent of the nonresident district shall notify each applicant and the applicant's resident district in writing as to whether the application has been accepted or rejected.  Before approving or rejecting any application, a nonresident district shall determine whether any limitations under Ark. Code Ann. § 6-18-1906 apply to the application and whether the resident district has met its numerical net maximum limit on school choice transfers under Ark. Code Ann. § 6-18-1906.  Ark. Code Ann. § 6-18-1906(b) establishes a numerical net maximum limit on school choice transfers each school year from a school district of three percent (3%) of the enrollment of the school district as of October 15 of the immediately preceding school year.  The attached document shows the total enrollment for each district and the number of student representing the three percent (3%) of total enrollment.

If an applicant has been rejected due to the numerical net maximum limit prior to the July 1 deadline, then the applicant shall retain priority for a transfer until July 1, being reconsidered if the resident district is no longer at the numerical net maximum limit.  The resident district shall promptly notify the nonresident district when it is no longer at its numerical net maximum limit.  

A link to the current school choice form and FAQs, as well as the Division's Rules Governing Public School Choice, can be found at:  Division of Elementary and Secondary Education - Offices - Legal Services - School Choice (arkansas.gov) (arkansas.gov)