(KMTR) -- The Eugene 4J school district is starting to figuring out if it will accept students from other districts at will through a process called “open enrollment.”
The open enrollment policy is a product of a bill passed by the Oregon State Legislature’s last session in mid-2011.
Under the new law, open enrollment would let any student from any district in Oregon sign-up to attend any other district they wanted. It is up to the district though as to whether or not they will take part in the open enrollment policy.
Up until now, students who lived inside one district but wanted to attend another have been required to get permission from both of the districts involved. For example, if a 4J student wanted to go to Springfield Public Schools, the student would have to ask both districts for clearance.
4J's district staff has already recommended that the district participate in open enrollment. The School Board has yet to meet on the issue though.
Eugene’s 4J’s Budget Committee meeting is getting a rundown of the new policy Monday night, January 9th, 2012.
For many local districts, open enrollment could be a mixed bag though.
If a district gains or loses a student, funding could be effected, which could play into staffing levels.
“It's hard to know how many students could be affected by this, how many families might choose to participate. But 4J has been declining in enrollment for quite some time. So if new students coming in to the district could help balance that declining enrollment, that's certainly something the school board is talking about,” says Kerry Delf, Communication Coordinator for the Eugene 4J District.
4J’s School Board will take up the open enrollment issue at its next public board meeting on January 11th, 2012. It could make a decision as early as the next meeting on January 18th, 2012.
Oregon is requiring all districts to opt-in or out of open enrollment by March 2012.
So far, the district's board isn’t leaning one way or the other. Any changes would take place beginning in the 2012-2013 school year.