Bill Will Create Uniform Deadlines for School Choice Enrollment Offers


DOVER – Parents would be able to weigh all school choice options for their children before making a final selection under legislation filed Tuesday that would align all school choice enrollment acceptance deadlines.

Sponsored by Rep. Kim Williams, House Bill 337 would require all school choice enrollment deadlines for public school districts, charter schools, magnet schools and career and technical education schools to line up, which would give parents uniformity and allow them to make decisions about which school their child will attend. Parents whose child wishes to attend a different public, charter, magnet or vo-tech school would have to apply between the first Monday in November and the second Wednesday in January for the following school year.

The bill would set a uniform deadline of the third Friday in March for parents and students to notify the school if they accept the school choice enrollment offer. Currently, there are no uniform deadlines for schools to extend an enrollment offer to a student, or for parents to accept an enrollment offer.

“The way the current system is set up, a student could apply for multiple school choice options and be forced to make a decision about one school before finding out whether they’ve been accepted to the others,” said Rep. Williams, D-Marshallton. “That creates unnecessary stress for families and forces parents and students to make rash decisions. By having uniform deadlines for all school choice enrollment options, it will make it easier for families to make informed decisions about their children’s educational futures.”

HB 337, which has 11 House co-sponsors, is scheduled to be heard in the House Education Committee on Wednesday.