Law Office of Michelle Ball 46601,transfer Interdistrict Transfers in California: Can A School Require You To Reapply?

Interdistrict Transfers in California: Can A School Require You To Reapply?


Last Updated on March 18, 2021 by Michelle Ball

By Michelle Ball, California Education Attorney for Students since 1995

Interdistrict transfers (move of student from one school district to another at parent request) are common events.  A parent does not like where their child attends school,  the district programs available (e.g. no GATE), wants their child closer to work, or otherwise wants to move their child.  They then request a transfer to another school district.  Once that transfer request is granted, can the school require students to reapply year after year for a transfer?  No.

Per California Education Code section 46600, two school districts may enter an agreement to accept students of  the other district.  Once accepted on an interdistrict transfer, however:

“[T]he pupil shall not have to reapply for an interdistrict transfer, and the governing board of the school district of enrollment shall allow the pupil to continue to attend the school in which he or she is enrolled.”

This is wonderful as if you are “in,” you remain “in.”  Previously, I would hear from parents who would have to reapply every year to maintain a transfer- no more.

Section 46601, however, does specify that a district may develop terms of revocation.  I have often seen VERY VERY restrictive interdistrict transfer agreements stating that if a student “does not follow school rules,” their transfer will be revoked.  I would certainly argue against revocation for minor events.  However, depending on the terms of revocation at the new district, this statute loses some of its strength.  Still, for most parents, this will be good news.

Additionally, once a student is transferred and will attend the eleventh or twelfth grades in the upcoming year, their transfer can no longer be revoked.  For the school of attendance to kick them out then, they would have to expel them or impose an involuntary transfer.  This should ease some parents’ worries on their high schoolers’ continued attendance.