Yes, Delaware has public school choice

As a result of legislation passed in 1995, Delaware students may attend the public school of their choice - if capacity exists - between districts and within districts. Students are eligible to "choose" among all public schools in Delaware.

Capacity includes but is not limited to space, class size, and any enrollment restrictions related to the school's program.

Some families are happy with Choice, others are frustrated by it since so many of Delaware's school are already operating over capacity.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

Applications are available from every district and must be submitted by the guardian or parent to the "receiving" district. The deadline for applications is the second Wednesday in January for the following school year, or on or before the first day of the school year for Kindergarten for that school year. Late applications are accepted if failure to meet deadline was for a good cause. The application may be withdrawn by parental notice to both districts prior to action by the receiving district.

The receiving district must notify parents by the last day of February (by June 15 for Kindergarten applications) or within 45 days of receipt.

APPROVAL

Approval criteria is established by each receiving district but must be reasonably related to the nature of the program or school. There are to be no auditions or exclusions based on abilities. Approval preferences may be given only to returning students, residents of the feeder pattern, siblings of enrolled students who meet the criteria.

TRANSPORTATION

Parents are responsible for either transporting student to regular district bus route or getting their child to that school. There is no special transportation for choice students..

TRANSFERS

Students must remain in the choice school for a minimum of two years. Exceptions are: graduates, changes of legal residence, failure to meet requirements, or if the transfer is permitted by the receiving district at parent request. A "choice" student can be displaced for filing to meet requirements only at the end of the academic year. The student will be automatically enrolled in resident district unless exercising choice of another receiving district.

SUSPENSION/EXPULSION

A student who has been suspended or expelled may not automatically be accepted by a receiving district. The decision is up to the receiving district. Inter-district transfer is prohibited during the period of an expulsion.

SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS

A receiving district may accept or reject an application based on the requirements of the student's IEP (Individualized Education Plan). I

INTERSCHOLASTIC SPORTS

A choice student is not eligible for the first year after a second change under the choice program. He/she is eligible if the sport was not offered in the previous receiving district.

To view the Delaware Code as it relates to School Choice, go to the Dept. of Education's Web site and click on View the Delaware Code online. Then click on Title 14, Education and look down the list for Public School Choice.

To check out information about Delaware's schools and districts, click here for the School Profiles site.

 

 

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