Pasco School Board reviews proposed rules for new open enrollment law
Pasco County schools would be considered closed to open enrollment if they reach 90 percent of their built capacity under new rules up for School Board consideration.
In the past, the threshhold was 100 percent. But with changes in state law to allow children to enroll in any public school with available seats, regardless of location, district officials wanted to ensure they defined "capacity" in a way that allowed them to manage student movement and growth.
Representatives from several central Florida districts collaborated to create shared definitions, to avoid parent confusion if they move from county to county. They all agreed on the 90 percent level, said Tammy Rabon, Pasco senior supervisor of teaching and learning.
In-county students would get first opportunity to choose new schools, with out-of-county students to get second preference, according to state law.
After the school year begins, Rabon explained, the district would add class size considerations to the decision making process for transfers.
"Once a school is at class size, we cannot approve [a move] to take a school out of class size compliance," Rabon said.
The new rule would keep past provisions for retaining a choice approval, such as the ability to remain in a school to the highest grade level. It would, however, also formalize procedures and reasons for rescinding a choice.
Those include providing false information to get in, withdrawal from the program that was the basis for enrollment, and poor attendance, grades or behavior.
The School Board is scheduled to have its first reading of the rule on Dec. 6, with a final reading and vote on Jan. 17. The district opens its choice application period for 2017-18 on Feb. 1.