Open Enrollment, Which Allows Parents to Choose the Best Public School for Their Children, Begins Today

Wisconsin’s open enrollment period officially began on February 4th, giving parents options in their quest to find strong educational options for their children.

Inter-district open enrollment, which officially runs from February 4 to April 30 this year, allows families to apply to public schools outside of the institution that they are geographically bound to. Parents are given the opportunity to apply to three different school districts in a quest to find the best classroom fit for their children. These transfers apply to charter schools – including virtual schools – as well.

This gives Wisconsin families nearly three months to choose a school that offers the most to their children. Districts can only reject a parent’s application if there are no available seats for a student or if said student has been referred for a special education evaluation and has not yet been evaluated.

This puts quite a bit of responsibility into the hands of parents. On Wednesday, at a National School Choice Week event, Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Gregory Thornton reinforced the idea that parents need to do their research and make prudent decisions when it comes to finding the right school for their children. In his speech last week, he implored families to “ask tough questions” and put in the necessary legwork to find the right classrooms for every student.

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Every student from kindergarten to 12th grade is eligible to apply for an open enrollment transfer. There are no additional costs to parents who choose to participate in the program. For more details, see the Department of Public Instruction’s report on this year’s application process here.