Issue Background

Open Enrollment

MSBA Adovcacy Position VI. L.

MSBA opposes any legislation that would permit parents to select schools outside of their district unless the legislation meets all of the following:

  1. Address all financial issues, including the determination of how state and local funds will follow nonresident students, and hold districts harmless from loss of funds.
  2. Ensure that administrative issues such as space availability and transportation are defined by the receiving districts.
  3. Not be part of any tax credit, deduction for tuition and related educational expenses, and other similar credit systems or any voucher program.
  4. Not foster racial, social or economic segregation.
  5. Require students to make at least a one-year commitment.


HB 543 Summary Review (Based on bill March 11)

April 13   The Senate Education Committee heard public testimony on HB 543. MSBA is OPPOSED to the bill because it does not address ALL five of the MSBA Advocacy Positions on open enrollment.

Contact your State Senate today to share how this bill will impact your students. Urge them to vote NO on HB 543.

March 24   HB 543 (Pollitt) was debated and amended on the House floor on Thursday, March 11. The bill has many provisions for school board members to review. View a detailed summary here.
The bill has been referred to Legislatve Review Committee and was re-approved on March 24.

Participation Overview

School districts do not have to accept non-resident students, but resident districts cannot prevent a student from transferring to another district that will accept them unless:
• For 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years, resident district can
restrict the number of students who may transfer to 5% of the
previous school year’s enrollment; or
• The transfer would violate a desegregation order or a district
diversity plan.
Once a district decides to participate and accept non-resident students, the district is required to do so for the full school year.

Important Deadlines

September 30: District sets the number of students the district is willing to receive for the following year based on capacity.
November 30: Deadline for parents to submit applications.
January 31: District must inform parents and resident district if accepted/rejected.
March 31: Notify DESE if district is exempt from transfers due to a desegregation order.
May 31: DESE reports to each district the maximum number of transfers for the school year.


Not required to accept students if the district would have to add teachers, staff, or classrooms or exceed district standards, which
may include, but are not limited to:
• Capacity of school building grade level, class, or program.
• Classroom space.
• Class-size limitations.
• Ratio of students to teachers.
• Projected enrollment.
• Characteristics of specific programs and the impact of student transfers.

View a detailed summary here.

House Bill 303 (Wiemann) establishes transfer policy for nonresident district students. Passed Committee