As I am sure many of you are aware, the current countywide interdistrict agreement is set to expire at the end of June. Under the current agreement, our county has an open enrollment policy with very few exceptions for denying a request. Even before the countywide agreement, Eureka City Schools, to my knowledge, has never limited interdistrict agreements. A significant problem with the current agreement is some school Districts have chosen not to honor it. For example, just before winter break, Cutten Elementary brought in 170 interdistrict requests for students already attending their schools, 130 of which we had no idea existed.
The practice of open enrollement has created an issue where nearly one in five, or approximately 800 of the students who should attend a Eureka City School, attend another school. This number assumes we have the correct information, which Cutten Elementary has proven is unlikely to be true. This number does not include charter or private schools, so in reality, this number could be much higher. For a variety of reasons, these parents have chosen another District to educate their children.
We have fielded several phone calls from parents regarding Interdistrict Agreements, and I want to provide some facts to ensure everyone has the correct information.
The California Education Code requires Interdistrict Agreements for students attending school outside of their District of residence (address where the student lives). Some exceptions to this are homeless students, charter schools, private schools or parents/guardians who establish residency in another District by their place of employment. However, almost all students who attend a school, while not having a primary residence in the District boundaries, are required to have a properly approved Interdistrict Agreement.