A bill being taken up the Assembly Education Committee would expand the program which allows children to attend school outside of their home district. Wisconsin parents that want to utilize Open Enrollment only have about three weeks in February to apply for a fall transfer.
State Senator Luther Olsen’s proposal expands the application process from early February to late April. The bill also allows a student to change districts during the year for exceptions such as homelessness, custody issues, bullying or families with military orders.
A Mukwonago mother and virtual school advocate testified today in support of these provisions.”We know that days count, weeks can hurt, months can stifle. Time is of the essence when your child is not learning or is at risk in the classroom,” said Rose Fernandez.
Dan Rossmiller with the Wisconsin Association of School Boards expressed concern about another exception, number seven, which allows for parents to move the child without requiring an explanation. He said in this case the resident district has no way of knowing what deficiencies may have been afoot that caused the student to leave. The Department of Public Instruction would also like a rewriting of exception seven.
Open Enrollment has been in effect in Wisconsin since the 1998-99 school year.