School Choice HB 251

Dawson County Schools
A Charter System of Georgia

House Bill 251
Public School Choice Framework

Out-of-Zone Request Window is April 12, 2021 - May 14, 2021

Under a law signed by Governor Perdue in May 2009, parents of K-12 public school students in Georgia now have the option to enroll their child in any school within the local school system in which they now reside.

A. Features of House Bill 251

  • A parent/guardian can elect to send a child to another public school in the same school system as long as there is classroom space available at the school after its assigned students have been enrolled;
  • If a parent elects to exercise this choice option, the parent assumes all costs associated with transporting the child to and from the selected school;
  • A student who transfers to another school pursuant to this law may continue to attend such school until the student completes all grades of the school;
  • If a parent requests a transfer to a school that does not have the services required by the current Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Individualized Accommodation Plan (IAP), nothing in the law requires the school to develop those services as long as they are available within the local school district;

B. Dawson County Charter System General Guidelines

  • Out of Zone Transfer Request Forms and Out of Zone Continuation Request Forms must be submitted on an annual basis. The district will open a window in the spring each year. Parents will be notified of the window via letter and on the district's website.  The window to submit Out-of-Zone Requests and Continuation forms is April 12, 2021 - May 14, 2021. 
  • Out of Zone Transfer Request Forms and Out of Zone Continuation Request Forms will be available online and at the front office of schools.
  • Parents will receive notification of available space in schools on or before July 1 of each year. For requests submitted for the 2021-2022 school year, parents will be notified of approval on or before July 1, 2021. 
  • In the event a particular school has available space and the number of transfer requests exceeds the remaining available capacity, the school will conduct a random lottery that provides each interested student with an equal chance to be admitted.

C. Defining Capacity at the School Level

  • Classroom space may be available at certain grade levels in the elementary schools. If transfer requests exceed the available space, then a lottery selection process will be utilized after the following criteria are satisfied: 
    • Students who are attending a school that is at any level of Needs Improvement
    • Students who have a disability whose IEP or IAP requires placement at a particular school
    • Students who are homeless
    • Students who have programmatic needs that are only available at a certain school
    • Students entitled to attend a certain school as a result of being children of employees

Out of Zone Transfer Request Form

Out of Zone Transfer Initial Request Form
Out of Zone Transfer Continuation Request Form

HB251Questions and Answers:

HB251 FAQs

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