DOE A to Z: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

Interdistrict Public School Choice

Special FAQs for the FY2018 Choice Student Application Cycle (FY2019 Student Enrollment)

Topics (Click on the topic below to go directly to the related Q&A):

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FY2018 enrollment limits and actual funding

Special dispensation for siblings and students who have completed the terminal grade of sending/constituent choice districts

Resident students who move

Students who receive a commissioner-approved waiver of application deadlines

FY2018 enrollment limits and actual funding

Q: How were the FY2019 enrollment limits derived? Will my actual funding be based on this figure?

A: The maximum student enrollment for FY2019 will be based on each district's FY2018 actual funded enrollment. Your FY2019 approved maximum cannot exceed this number (with the exception of special dispensations, and any choice students receive commissioner approved waivers).  (See "Special dispensation for siblings and students from sending/constituent choice districts," below.)   Final funding will be based on the district's actual projected enrollment submitted by the district on January 22, 2018.

Q: If my district didn't enroll any choice students in FY2018, what will my FY2019 enrollment maximum be?

A: Approved choice districts that did not enroll any choice students in FY2018 will be given an FY2019 enrollment maximum of 3.

Special dispensation for choice applicants who are siblings and students from sending/constituent choice districts

Q: Can I provide enrollment and receive choice funding in FY2019 for current choice students' siblings and students from sending choice districts who are applying to choice, even if I exceed the NJDOE's enrollment limit?

A: The answer is a qualified yes. Districts that give enrollment preference to choice applicants who have siblings currently attending the choice district (as specified in their posted enrollment policies and in their profile) may request a special dispensation from the state for an increase to their maximum choice enrollment. Similarly, choice districts that are in a formal sending/receiving or constituent relationship with another choice district and give enrollment preference to choice students who have completed the terminal grade of the sending district (as specified in their posted enrollment policies and in their profile) may request a special dispensation from the state for an increase to their maximum choice enrollment. Note that this dispensation will be given only if the district can demonstrate that all open seats have been filled with siblings and/or receiving students.

In order to get an accurate count of these students, districts should send communication to all their choice families and any receiving districts to ensure that these special case students submit choice applications by the application deadline of December 1, 2017.

The NJDOE will send out an email with instructions on requesting special dispensation after the Dec. 1 application deadline.

Resident students who move

Q: How will resident students who move and wish to convert to choice status be handled?

A: Resident students who move before the application deadline of Dec. 1, 2017, need to apply for a seat in the choice–approved grades/programs and meet any program-specific criteria, like other choice applicants. However, resident students who move may be given enrollment preference if the district has adopted a preference policy for these students, as follows:

If resident students move and file choice applications for the following year prior to the deadline, the district will give them enrollment preference (i.e., accept them ahead of other non-preference applicants), provided there are choice seats available in the choice-approved grades/ programs and the students meet any program-specific criteria. However, no additional choice seats above the maximum will be approved by the NJDOE to accommodate these students. This policy needs to be included on the district profile and clearly posted on the district's website.

Resident students who move after the application deadline of Dec. 1, 2017, may apply as late applicants. Some districts have a policy that these students can be added to the front of the district's waitlist, provided the students will enroll in a choice-approved grade/program and they meet any program-specific criteria. However, no additional choice seats above the maximum will be approved by the NJDOE to accommodate these students. This policy needs to be included on the district profile and clearly posted on the district's website.

Note that resident students who move during the year must be allowed to continue to attend the district for the remainder of the school year, provided they are in the choice–approved grades/programs and they meet any program-specific criteria. These students will become temporary choice students for the remainder of the school year, and are eligible for choice transportation.

Students who receive a commissioner-approved waiver

Q: How will waivers work—will a student who receives a waiver be funded?

A: Students who receive a commissioner-approved waiver are an exception to a district's enrollment maximum. If a district accepts a student with a waiver, the NJDOE will increase the district's enrollment maximum, if there is not an available choice seats to accommodate the student. However, funding for that student depends on when the student is enrolled. If the student is enrolled before the NJDOE choice enrollment data collection on 1/22/18, then the district will receive funding for that additional student in FY2019. If the student is enrolled after the NJDOE choice enrollment data collection, the district will not receive funding for that student in FY2019, but will receive funding in subsequent years.