State policymakers looking to give families more educational opportunities have much to learn from Wisconsin’s K-12 open enrollment success. Wisconsin’s cross-district transfer policy spans more than two decades, growing from serving a mere 2,464 students in the 1998-1999 school year to 70,428 students in the 2020-2021 school year. Stakeholders in other states should consider a few key factors that led to this success when crafting their own open enrollment policies.
For starters, Wisconsin’s policy allows families to access available seats in any school district, setting the foundation for a robust program. In cases where transfer applications exceed supply, school districts use