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SCHOOL CHOICE WEEK: April 25 – April 29, 2016

HB 251 Public School Choice (Guidelines) Framework

Parents of K-12 public school students in Georgia now have the option to enroll their child in any school within the local school district in which they now reside.  The law requires, among other things, that each school district implement a universal, streamlined process to manage such transfers by July 1 of each year.

  1.  Features of House Bill 251

A parent/guardian can elect to send a child to another public school in the same school district as long as there is classroom space available at the school after its assigned students have been enrolled.

A student who transfers to another school pursuant to this law may continue to attend such school until the student completes all grades of the school.

If a parent requests a transfer to a school that does not have the services required by the current Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Individualized Accommodation Plan (IAP), nothing in the law requires the school to develop those services as long as they are available within the local school district.

Any student transferring under this law shall be subject to the eligibility requirements of the Georgia High School Association.

  1.  Decatur County Schools General Guidelines

Applications for Decatur County Schools “School Choice” must be submitted between April 25, 2016 at the close of business (4:00 p.m.) on April 29, 2016.

Applications may be hand-delivered or mailed to the Central Office.Applications will be available online or you may pick one up at the Central Office.

Annual notification – by June 1 of each year, Decatur County Schools will notify parents regarding which schools have available space and which of these schools parents may choose to request a transfer for their children.

In the event a particular school has available space and the number of transfer requests exceeds the remaining available capacity, the school will conduct a random lottery that provides each interested student with an equal chance to be admitted.

Students must adhere to all attendance protocols.Students are not eligible to ride the bus.

A student who is granted a transfer may continue to attend that school until the student completes all grades of the receiving school.   The local school district has discretion to determine the appropriate school for enrollment. All current School Choice students are grandfathered under this law unless the parent or guardian has failed to meet the parental responsibilities.

  1. Defining Capacity at the School Level

Decatur County Schools defines available classroom as permanent classroom space.In defining available classroom space, Decatur County Schools may deny a parental request for transfer based on a lack of capacity for the following reasons:

Capacity of the school building based on established health and safety provision;

Class-size capacity by grade and subject, based on State law and rule;

In addition, Decatur County Schools may deny a transfer based on a lack of capacity in order to ensure students for whom Federal law provides a selected space.

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