New laws ease student transfers between schools

It used to be a long, arduous and possibly costly process for students wishing to transfer districts, but beginning next school year, it will become a much easier process. Many students try to transfer between schools in Oregon, and new student transfer laws will make it easier to do so. In the 2012-2013 school year, House Bill 3681 will let students go to school in a different district if they want to, as long as they have written consent from that school district.

Before this law was put into place, transferring districts was a much more difficult process. Home districts were unwilling to comply, and it was difficult to obtain state funding to transfer. If students desire to switch districts, but don’t receive consent from their home district, they would have to pay tuition to go to the public school of their choice. For example, the Riverdale School District used to charge up to $11,000 dollars if a student wishing to transfer districts couldn’t get consent from their home district.

This bill took effect on Jan. 1 of this year for the 2012-2013 school year. There are various deadlines students are required to meet in order to transfer to a new district. First, the school district announces on March 1 the amount of students that would be accepted to transfer in the next year. All students looking to transfer districts need that district’s consent by April 1. Then, the district must let the students that will be transferred know this by May 1.

The district decides on how many students it will accept based upon current students enrolled, budget, staff and other factors. If there are more student applications to switch to a certain district than there are spaces open for students, the district will run a random lottery to find which students are admitted in and which are not.