Extended school closures and COVID-19 pandemic policies have left many families disenchanted with public K-12 education. For a multitude of reasons, including dissatisfaction, public school student enrollment declined by 1.2 million students nationwide between 2020 and 2022.
K-12 public schools may be able to regain some families’ trust by showing they are open to all families—regardless of where they live through public school open enrollment. Open enrollment policies weaken attendance zone and school district boundaries, letting students enroll in schools other than their residentially-assigned school so long as seats are available in the chosen school.
While approximately 43 states claim to have