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Open Enrollment Flexibility


Key Message

Military families are at a disadvantage when it comes to school enrollment options due to military-directed assignments. States can provide military families with improved schooling options by modifying open enrollment policies.


Military families can face limited school enrollment options, a disadvantage resulting from military-directed assignments. In some cases, military families move from temporary to permanent housing, or they relocate to a new state after the school year has started, which impacts school enrollment. Some military families must live in military housing (due to command requirements), restricting them to schools zoned near that installation.


Most states have one or more policies providing for varying degrees of open enrollment, but they can differ greatly across state and even district lines. These policies can be mandatory or voluntary for the school or district; may apply to interdistrict transfers or be limited to intradistrict transfers; and may provide priority to students who are part of designated categories.

State Policymakers

If you are a state policymaker, request more information.