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Open Enrollment Application Period Begins February 4

Applications available online February 4 to April 30


January 31, 2019

Parents and guardians can apply to send their children to any public school in the state through the Wisconsin Public School Open Enrollment program.

The online applications period for the 2019-20 school year opens February 4, 2019, and runs through April 30, 2019, with applications available on the Department of Public Instruction website at

Open enrollment is a tuition-free opportunity for parents to apply for their children to attend a public school in a school district other than the one in which they live.

The state’s public school open enrollment program has been in operation since the 1998-99 school year. In the first year of open enrollment, 2,464 students transferred from their home district to a nonresident public school district. Last year, 60,820 students transferred through open enrollment. Program statistics for the 2018-19 school year will be available in fall of 2019.

Under public school open enrollment, parents or guardians apply during the three-month application period to the school district they wish their children to attend using the online application website. Application deadlines are firm. Early and late applications are not accepted. Districts will notify parents by June 7, 2019, whether their open enrollment applications have been approved or denied.

Transportation to and from a nonresident school, in most circumstances, is the responsibility of the parent. However, some school districts may provide partial transportation. Parents with questions should call the nonresident school district office to find out if any transportation will be provided. Reimbursement of a portion of transportation costs is available for families whose children are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals based on federal income guidelines.

The open enrollment program is funded by state general equalization aid transfers between sending and receiving school districts, with the transfer amount calculated on statutory provisions. For the 2018-19 school year, the transfer amount is an estimated $7,379 per student, or $12,431 for students with disabilities. Resident districts cannot deny any student’s open enrollment application for cost reasons.

To assist parents in submitting open enrollment applications, a directory of public school districts,, is available on the DPI website. To find additional information about open enrollment, visit the department’s Public School Open Enrollment website,

More information also is available from local school districts or from an open enrollment consultant at DPI, (888) 245-2732 (toll-free), or


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