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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


The Rules Governing Public School Choice may be found on the Division's website at


Arkansas Public School Choice Act of 2015

ADE Commissioner’s Memo – 01/06/2021

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


May 1 

Parents must submit school choice applications to the nonresident district with a copy to the student's resident district. The application must be 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, has been transferred to and resides on a military base, and provides military transfer orders that confirm the date of transfer to the military base, then the student's application for a transfer under this section is not subject to the May 1 deadline, but instead must file an application for transfer within fifteen (15) days of the parent or guardian's arrival on the military base and include the parent's or guardian's transfer orders and proof of residency on the military base.


NOTE:  Both the resident and nonresident districts shall, upon receipt of the application, 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. 


July 1 

The superintendent of the nonresident district shall notify the parent and resident district in writing as to whether the student’s application has been accepted or rejected.


NOTE:  Ark. Code Ann. § 6-18-1905 requires notice of this determination to be made by July 1.  Before approving or rejecting and application, a nonresident district shall determine whether any of the 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 students representing 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 and be reconsidered when 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.