During the 2012-2013 school year, Ohio schools saw over 70,000 students move into different schools outside their home district. This transforms into approximately $360 million transferring in and out of communities throughout Ohio, according to the internet article Ohio’s Open Enrollment Shifts $360 Million and 72,000 Students Across Districts written by Doug Livingston.
One definition for open enrollment, found in the article is that it is an educational “process that allows parents to send their children across district borders without changing their address.” The 2012-13 school year showed the biggest increase in open enrollment since the idea started 20 years ago. The Open Enrollment in school districts can be a good thing and a bad thing. It can be good for the schools that get new students, but it hurts the smaller schools that are struggling to keep their education programs and their communities going.
I have been a substitute teacher for five years. I am one of the substitute teachers that travels to several different school districts. These schools are housed in small towns in southeastern Ohio. Communities and school districts that value each student, knowing that the youth are the future. Being from a poor area of Ohio, I have mixed feelings about open enrollment. As a substitute teacher, I see schools that have empty school rooms and I have also been in schools that don’t have enough desks and chairs to hold all the students.
On the positive side of open enrollment for this area of Ohio, the oil and gas companies are bringing their kids into abandoned schools. The families of the oil and gas workers have helped make up the financial loss some schools in this area have suffered.
Another positive I have seen in the increase in open enrollment is from my perspective parents are shopping for the best school for their kids. Which means parents are still interested in the best education avenues available. With this type of “shopping,” school district administrators are striving to offer high quality education to their students.
Looking into the future, open enrollment can continue to be a positive and competitive aspect to the education, but both political and educational administrators should look into finding a medium balance for all school districts to gain from open enrollment.
stateimpact.npr.org/$360 Million and 72,000 Students Across Districts by Doug Livingston