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District of Choice

Information on the District of Choice program, which allows local educational agencies (LEAs) to accept student transfers under the "District of Choice" provisions.

Background

The District of Choice Program allows a student to transfer to a school district that participates in this program. In 2017, California Education Code (EC) sections 48300 through 48316 External link opens in new window or tab. were adopted, adding new requirements for districts participating in this program:

  • A District of Choice must determine the number of transfer students it is willing to accept and must ensure that students admitted are selected through a random, unbiased process. The admissions process prohibits an evaluation of whether or not the student should be enrolled based on his or her academic or athletic performance, physical condition, or proficiency in English.

  • The new law requires a District of Choice to meet several new state and local requirements including registration, student registration, and data reporting. The California Department of Education (CDE) and the respective county office of education (COE) also have a role in adhering to these requirements as specified in the following sections.

2021–2022 and 2022–2023 Districts of Choice

Districts electing to participate in the District of Choice Program are required to register with the CDE no later than October 15. A list of districts who have registered with the CDE as participating in the District of Choice Program for the current school year are:

Lists of districts participating in the District of Choice Program for previous years are available upon request by email at DistrictofChoice@cde.ca.gov.

District of Choice Data Files

District of Choice Data Files
Downloadable data files for Districts of Choice and Districts of Residence.

For questions about student transfers, contact your school district. For more information about district transfers District Transfers web page.

Registration and Withdrawal Process

Districts choosing to participate in the District of Choice Program have a 30-day period between September 15 through October 15, 2022, to register for the 2023-24 school year.

Under EC Section 48308(d), a transfer to a District of Choice is applicable for one school year and is renewed automatically “unless the school district of choice through the adoption of a resolution elects to no longer accept any transfer pupils pursuant to this article.”

Under EC Section 48301(g), if a District of Choice chooses to withdraw from the program, there is a requirement to inform both the CDE and their COE of this decision, but simply notifying the CDE and their COE of an intent to discontinue is insufficient: a district’s board must elect to no longer accept a transfer of pupils as a District of Choice. Until such time as a district adopts a resolution which can take place during the annual September 15 through October 15 registration/withdrawal window, it remains a District of Choice and subject to all requirements.

The survey is available at District of Choice Application/Withdrawal External link opens in new window or tab.

For questions about student transfers, contact your school district.

Resources

District Participation & Data Reporting Information
Information for districts regarding participating in the District of Choice program and data reporting requirements for districts of choice

District of Choice Frequently Asked Questions.
Answers to frequently asked questions about the District of Choice program.

Questions: District of Choice Team | DistrictofChoice@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0703 
Last Reviewed: Friday, September 30, 2022
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