Assembly Bill 2444, which became effective January 1, 2011, precludes a school district from requiring a student attending school pursuant to an interdistrict transfer from having to reapply annually. AB 2444 requires the governing board of the district of enrollment to allow the student to continue to attend the school in which he or she is enrolled unless the district of residence and district of enrollment agree otherwise.
Generally, a student is required to attend school in the district in which the student’s parent or guardian resides. Education Code section 46600, though, permits the governing boards of two or more districts to enter into a mutual agreement, for a term not to exceed five school years, for the interdistrict attendance of students who are residents of the districts. The agreement must stipulate the terms and conditions under which interdistrict attendance shall be permitted or denied. An individual permit, approved by the district of residence and district of enrollment, must be issued to each student who will be attending school outside his or her district of residence. Currently, many school districts accept students for interdistrict attendance without such an agreement.
AB 2444 amended section 46600 to provide that the governing board of the receiving school district must allow the student to continue attending the school in which he or she is enrolled unless the terms of the interdistrict agreement between the districts provide otherwise. For districts that accept students for interdistrict attendance without an agreement with the district of residence, AB 2444 precludes either district from rescinding the interdistrict attendance permit or from requiring the student to reapply annually. Additionally, regardless of the existence of an agreement between the district of residence and district of enrollment, under AB 2444, neither the district of residence nor the district of enrollment may rescind existing interdistrict transfer permits for students entering grades 11 or 12 in the subsequent school year.
Given the potential impact of AB 2444 on a school district's ability to require renewal of or to revoke an interdistrict transfer, we suggest reviewing your board policies regarding interdistrict attendance and entering into interdistrict attendance agreements with any district from which you will be accepting interdistrict transfer students. Pursuant to AB 2444, such agreements may contain standards for reapplication and revocation of interdistrict permits that differ from the general requirements of the law, which may provide school districts with more flexibility than the new law otherwise provides.
If you have any questions regarding the application of AB 2444, or would like assistance in revising your board policies or drafting an interdistrict transfer agreement between school districts, please call one of our five offices statewide.
F3 NewsFlash prepared by Howard Friedman, Shawn Olson Brown and L. Carlos Villegas.
Howard is a partner in the F3 Los Angeles office.
Shawn is a senior associate in the F3 Oakland office.
Carlos is an associate in the F3 Los Angeles office.
This F3 NewsFlash is a summary only and not legal advice. We recommend that you consult with legal counsel to determine how this new law may apply to your specific facts and circumstances. Information on a free NewsFlash subscription can be found at www.fagenfriedman.com.
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