HB603: School divisions, local; open enrollment policies.

HOUSE BILL NO. 603
Offered January 11, 2012
Prefiled January 10, 2012
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Chapter 1 of Title 22.1 a section numbered 22.1-7.1, relating to enrollment in public schools.
Patron-- LeMunyon

Committee Referral Pending

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Chapter 1 of Title 22.1 a section numbered 22.1-7.1 as follows:

§ 22.1-7.1. Open school enrollment policy.

A. Any local school board may establish and implement policies to provide for the open enrollment to any school of any student residing within the school division upon the request of a parent or guardian. In developing such policies, a local school board may include the following conditions and limitations:

1. An application process whereby a parent or guardian indicates a school preference for purposes of his child attending a school in the child's school division but outside of the attendance area in which the child resides;

2. A requirement that the parent or guardian provide transportation for the student attending a school other than his assigned school;

3. A requirement that a student may be disqualified from attending a school other than his assigned school if he has been subject to a specified disciplinary action;

4. A prohibition on the recruitment of a student from one school to another by a school division employee;

5. A limitation on participation in certain athletic activities for a student who chooses to attend a school other than his assigned school;

6. A random, unbiased selection process in the event open enrollment requests exceed the capacity of a school;

7. A provision that a student shall be permitted to remain at the receiving school until the student has completed the highest grade level in the school; and

8. A preference to a student (i) who resides in a location that has been subject to a change in school attendance area during the previous two years, (ii) who has a sibling attending the receiving school, or (iii) whose parent or guardian is an employee of the receiving school.

B. A copy of the school division's policies for open enrollment, if any, shall be posted on the division's website and shall be available to the public upon request.

C. Nothing in this section shall interfere with a local school board's authority to adopt a pupil placement plan pursuant to § 22.1-79.

D. For the purposes of this section, "open enrollment" means a policy adopted and implemented by a local school board to allow any student to enroll in any school within the school division of attendance regardless of the location of the student's residence.