Open Enrollment is the process by which parents/guardians residing in an Iowa district may enroll their children into another Iowa school district under the terms and conditions of Iowa Code section 282.18 and 281–Iowa Administrative Code 17.

Iowa Department of Education Open Enrollment Information

Open Enrollment Placement Map

House File (HF) 2589 eliminates the previous March 1 deadline for open enrollment. This change allows parents/guardians to apply for open enrollment at any time without the need for good cause. The receiving district may deny an open enrollment request if one of the following applies:

  • The application violates the district’s insufficient classroom space policy,
  • The district does not have the appropriate special education program,
  • The application would adversely affect the district’s implementation of a court-ordered desegregation plan, or
  • The student has been expelled or suspended.

If a parent/guardian moves and wishes for their student to continue at the original resident district under open enrollment (often known as the “continuation rule”), requests cannot be denied due to insufficient classroom space policies.