Parents would have more time to apply for open enrollment under a bill passed by the state Senate. Under current state law, the open enrollment registration period which begins today lasts for just three weeks. State Senator Luther Olson (R-Berlin) is author of a bill (SB 2) which extends that period to three months. “If a kid isn’t getting it, let’s get them to a place that they can get it,” Olson said. Democrats like Senator Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) argued the change could lead to an exodus of students out of their home districts – to the detriment of those districts. “You have this crescendo of choise and charter and virtual, and all these options that are good for a child, with any regard for the remaining childrend” said Jauch.
Olson argued that’s not a legitimate concern. “When I talkd to school districts, if they were concerned that they would ever get close to one percent of their students leaving within the middle of the year, they said it was not an issue at all to them,” he said. Democrats pointed out that traditional brick and mortar schools are facing new competition from on-line virtual schools. Last year, some 32,000 students attended a school outside their resident district. Parents are encouraged to register on-line.