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New laws change enrollment requirements in Florida schools

Not all school districts are the same, just like not all children learn in the same way. Maybe your child has struggled at a school in the past, so you wanted to make a change to a new district. If you found that you couldn't get your child enrolled, it may have been frustrating to watch a continuing struggle. You're not alone, and that's part of the reason the laws are now different.

A new Florida law means your child may be able to go to any school that has an opening. For public school students looking to enroll in 2017-2018, a new bill signed into law in April by Governor Rick Scott has made it possible for students to go to any school instead of being confined by their residential location.

Another change now allows all high school athletes to have immediate eligibility when they transfer schools, which means they can start playing for the new school immediately and that the schools will receive the appropriate funding for the transfer.

By expanding students' and parents' options for schooling, students can now go to a school that best fits their needs instead of a school within a certain local district. How can this help? Imagine a parent who works an hour away; if the parent feels more comfortable having his or her son or daughter attend school in a district near the workplace, that can now be a possibility. In the past, open enrollment may have allowed for this, but it would have been more difficult for students to enroll overall.

Source: Tampa Bay Times, "'School choice' becomes Florida law; Gov. Rick Scott also signs 19 other bills," Kristen M. Clark, accessed May 12, 2016

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