Connecticut's Open Choice Program
May 17, 2018 - less than 1 minute
This policy brief focuses on Connecticut's Open Choice program, and discusses its objectives, history, administration, and funding.
Open Choice is a program in which Connecticut students can attend schools in local public school districts outside the community in which they reside. Connecticut’s statutes currently allow for districts in the Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven, and New London areas to send and receive students from participating districts in their respective region.
In fiscal year 2018, 49 local school districts and more than 3,000 students participated in the Open Choice program.
Overseen by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), the primary purpose of the Open Choice program is to reduce racial, ethnic, and economic isolation for students in Connecticut’s local public schools. Additionally, the Open Choice program’s objectives include improving academic achievement and providing a choice of educational programs.
Through the Open Choice program, receiving districts elect to offer seats to students from statutorily designated sending districts. The Regional Education Service Center (RESC) that represents the district with available Open Choice seats determines the eligibility and the feasibility for that district to receive Open Choice students. The State provides a financial incentive to local and regional boards of education that elect to receive students through the Open Choice program.
Connecticut School Finance Project. (2018). Connecticut's Open Choice Program. New Haven, CT: Author. Retrieved from http://ctschoolfinance.org/assets/uploads/files/Open-Choice-Policy-Brief.pdf.