New repor⁠t⁠ exam⁠i⁠nes s⁠t⁠a⁠t⁠e-by-s⁠t⁠a⁠t⁠e pol⁠i⁠cy on flex⁠i⁠ble access ⁠t⁠o publ⁠i⁠c schools

July 10, 2023

July 10, 2023

Imagine a world where public schools are as flexibly accessible as other public services, an institution which does not discriminate on the basis of ZIP code, race, gender, or family income. 

Today, only 24 states explicitly outline a policy for nonpublic students to access classes and/or clubs offered by their public schools, while only 15 states make it mandatory for school districts to participate. Ten states treat access to a public school as a right for all students regardless of where they attend school on a full-time basis. 

The Bottom Line: All students should be empowered to attend public schools on a flexible basis. 

Families deserve to find the educational options that best meet their children’s needs, free from discrimination based on where they live or what type of school they attend for most of the week.  

The Yes team examined each state’s statute for a policy that allows students to enroll on a course-by-course basis and scored them based on twelve criteria outlined in the report. Policymakers and advocates may find the analysis helpful in seeking to better understand how states can best empower family-led decision-making in education. 

Public Education Your Way policies should… 

  • Universally apply to all students, whether enrolled in the public system or not 
  • Be explicitly defined in state statute 
  • Grant students access to all courses and activities offered at a public school
  • Require school districts to participate 
  • Make families the decision-makers, instead of school systems 

Of all 50 states, Idaho provides families the most flexible access to their public schools, offering homeschool students, nonpublic students, and even nonresident students access to public school courses, services and extracurricular activities. 

In empowering families to access public schools on a course-by-course basis, we can further empower them to have education in any way which best fits their children. 

Read more on Public Education Your Way solutions from yes. every kid.