House Bill 867, sponsored by Rep. Jansen Owen, would allow students to more easily transfer to schools outside of their school district, further enabling them to access the education setting that works best for them.
State law currently allows any student to apply for a transfer to another district by submitting a request to his or her local school board. Once approved, the request moves to the school board of the district to which the student wants to transfer for approval. In other words, a student may only transfer to another school district if both the sending and receiving school boards approve the request.
In practice, some Mississippi districts form agreements with a nearby district or a district consortium, while others choose not to approve any student transfers or review requests on a case-by-case basis.
Under the proposed bill, a student’s home district would no longer be allowed to block a student from attending another district. The receiving school district would still have to approve the transfer request.
The bill further requires school districts to make certain information more transparent for parents who are considering a transfer request. Under the proposed legislation, each school district must publicly report the capacity of each school in the district to accept transfer students, any tuition or fees the district will assess transfer students, and the criteria by which the district approves or rejects a transfer request.
Empower Mississippi supports this legislation.
HB 867 has been referred to the House Education Committee. You can read the bill here.
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