CCSA Answers: Release Requirements for Students from another District's Attendance Area

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February 26, 2016 Question: We are a conversion charter school. Before conversion, we required any student coming from another district's attendance area to be released in writing from his or her resident district. Do charter schools need to follow this policy?

Answer: No. Under statute, charter schools can accept students from any district, with certain restrictions for Independent Study or non-classroom based schools. There are no attendance area restrictions for charter classroom based schools and there is no formal requirement to obtain district releases. Schools need to follow their enrollment procedures and preferences. If there are more applicants than spaces, students are accepted based on an open lottery, with preference given to those residing in the original attendance area of the conversion school, and to district students, and other preferences the school has documented in its petition, enrollment policies, or MOU with its authorizer.