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Title I, Part A School Choice

When schools are identified for comprehensive support and improvement, local educational agencies (LEAs) may offer the option of School Choice to send their student to another school in the LEA.

School Choice

Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (Section 1111[d][1][D]), for schools identified for comprehensive support and improvement (CSI), the LEA may provide all students enrolled in such school with the option to transfer to another public school served by the LEA, unless such an option is prohibited by State law (ESSA Section 1111[d][1][D][i]).

In providing students the option to transfer to another public school, the LEA shall:

  • Give priority to the lowest achieving children from low-income families, as determined by the LEA for purposes of allocating funds to schools under section 1113(a)(3) (ESSA Section 1111[d][1][D][ii]);

  • Ensure that a student who transfers to a school in the LEA that is not identified for CSI enroll in classes and other activities in the public school in the same manner as all other students in the school (ESSA Section 1111[d][1][D][iii]);

  • Permit a student who transfers to another public school in the LEA that is not identified for CSI to remain in that school until the student has completed the highest grade in that school (ESSA Section 1111[d][1][D][iv]).

LEAs may spend an amount equal to not more than 5 percent of its Title I, Part A allocation to pay for the provision of transportation for students who transfer to the public schools that are not identified for CSI (ESSA Section 1111[d][1][D][v]).

The public school choice (Choice) program under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was phased out in the 2017–18 school year due to the implementation of the ESSA. Beginning in the 2018–19 school year, LEAs may continue but are no longer required to provide transportation to students who transferred to non-program improvement schools under the NCLB Choice program. However, LEAs must allow such students to remain in the schools of choice until they complete the highest grade level in that school.


ESSA External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
Text of the ESSA from the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965.

Questions:   Title I Policy, Program, and Support Office |
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, November 1, 2022
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