This is a public announcement.Public School Choice in Arkansas allows students to attend a public school in a district other than the one in which they reside.Applications for students in the following counties: Clark, Grant, Hot Spring, Pike, and Saline, (must be made by May 1, 2020 to qualify for provisions under the Arkansas Public School Choice Act of 2013.)
Pursuant to standards adopted by a non-resident school board, a non-resident district may reserve the right to accept and reject applicants based on capacity of programs, class, grade level, or school building.Likewise, a non-resident district’s standards may provide for the rejection of an applicant based upon the submission of false or misleading information to the above listed request for information when that information directly impacts the legal qualifications of an applicant to transfer pursuant to the School Choice Act.However, a non-resident district’s standards shall not include an applicant’s previous academic achievement, athletic or other extra-curricular ability, handicapping conditions, English proficiency level, or previous disciplinary proceedings, except that an expulsion from another district may be included pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. 6-18-510.Priority will be given to applicants with siblings attending the district.The non-resident district shall accept credits toward graduation that were awarded by another district and award a diploma to a non-resident applicant if the applicant meets the non-resident district’s graduation requirements. Applications must be postmarked or delivered to the Superintendent of Schools no later than May 1 for a child to be able to enroll for the fall semester.Transfers shall be granted on a non-discriminatory basis.Students who have been accepted and enrolled in previous years do not have to reapply as approved transfers remain valid for as long as the student attends that public school.
Public School Choice Act of 2015
Ark. Code Ann. § 6-18-1901 et seq. outlines the procedures for any school district claiming a conflict with the law. For more information, please go to Commissioner’s Memo COM-20-068.
To apply for a school choice transfer under the Public School Choice Act of 2015 or the Opportunity School Choice Act, please use this School Choice Form and FAQ. For more information, please consult the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Rules Governing Public School Choice.
Based on the proof provided, the Arkansas Department of Education has issued written exemptions to the following school districts from participation in transfers under the School Choice Act for the 2020-2021 school year. Click on the name of the school district to review the documentation for each school district:
- Cutter-Morning Star School District
- Fountain Lake School District
- Hot Springs School District
- Jessieville School District
- Lake Hamilton School District
- Lakeside School District (Garland County)
- Mountain Pine School District
SCHOOL CHOICE INFORMATION
FOR GARLAND COUNTY SCHOOLS
The Garland County School Districts are proud to participate in the Arkansas School Choice Transfer Program for the 2020- 2021 School Year.However, the School Choice Program in Garland County is quite different than the majority of the rest of Arkansas.While most of the state is operating under the Arkansas School Choice Law of 2013, in Garland County, our schools are legally required to operate under the old law.While the Arkansas School Choice Law of 1989 has been declared unconstitutional, we are required by federal court to still operate under that law due to a Federal Desegregation Agreement.Therefore, the following information is relevant only to the schools in Garland County.
School Choice in Garland County is still impacted by the race of the student enrollment in both the home school district and the non-resident school district.The Arkansas Department of Education provides district racial data and a very complicated formula that we are required to follow in both acceptance and rejecting School Choice Transfers.Garland County School Districts began accepting School Choice Applications on April 1, 2020.FOR GARLAND COUNTY ONLY, THE SCHOOL CHOICE DEADLINE IS JULY 1, 2020.NO APPLICATIONS CAN BE ACCEPTED AFTER THAT DATE! Once the applications and the state data and formula are received, we will begin processing those applications.