Under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), students who attend a Title I-funded school that is identified for school improvement, corrective action, or restructuring are eligible to participate in the Public School Choice (Choice) Program. This provision allows ALL students attending a Program Improvement (PI) school the option to transfer to another public school, including a public charter school, that is within the local educational agency (LEA) and that is not in PI or is not persistently dangerous.
The option of Choice must be made available to all students the first year a school is identified for PI and all subsequent years thereafter, until the school has made adequate yearly progress for two consecutive years and exits the PI status. LEAs must offer more than one school of choice if more than one non-PI school is available although they should strive to provide as many schools of choice as possible. The final decision as to which school a student attends is up to the LEA while it must take parents' preferences into consideration in their decision-making.
Students who exercise their right to attend another school under the school choice provision must be given the option to continue to attend that school until they complete the highest grade of that school, even if the home school is no longer in PI, corrective action, or restructuring.
LEAs that are offering Choice must provide transportation to students to, and from the school of choice until the home school exits PI. An LEA may continue to pay for transportation but is no longer required to do so because the school of choice no longer meets the statutory and regulatory requirements as a school of choice. LEAs are required to set aside an amount equal to 20 percent of the Title I, Part A allocation to be expended on Public School Choice and the Supplemental Educational Services (SES) [http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ti/supplemental.asp] programs. If funds to provide Choice transportation are limited, the LEA may give first priority to lowest-achieving students from low-income families based on achievement levels as evaluated by objective educational measures.
More information regarding the Choice program can be found in the following documents.
- ESEA Section 1116. ACADEMIC ASSESSMENT AND LOCAL EDUCATIONAL AGENCY AND SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT (Posted 30-Sep-2014)
- Public School Choice Non-Regulatory Guidance - An Overview of Public School Choice Provisions (PDF; Posted 30-Sep-2014)
- Frequently Asked Questions for School Choice (Posted 27-Oct-2014)
- United States Department of Education School Choice (Posted 30-Sep-2014)
- Parental Options and Innovative Programs (PDF; Posted 30-Sep-2014)
To see topics on SES that include Frequently Asked Questions, please click on the link below:
- Supplemental Educational Services (SES) (Posted 30-Sep-2014)