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Old 12-11-2011, 07:38 PM
Location: Southern California
20 posts, read 86,804 times
Reputation: 14


Is there school choice in Illinois? If you buy a home in a certain district, do you have a right to ask to go to a neighboring district? What about a different school (per the boundaries) in the same district?

I know the rules/laws vary from state to state and I'd like to know where Illinois falls before we go to far in our house hunt.

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Old 12-11-2011, 09:22 PM
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Yes/Depends. All areas in Chicago will have schools you can attend, being a resident within the school boundaries, but there will also be schools which you'll need to test into, or be chosen by lottery... You need to be clear on the "public" school you wish your kid to attend, and then find out if he/she can attend based on residence. Something else to consider is the elementary school in the area maybe good, but the middle and/or high schools may be poor. These factors may dictate whether to buy or rent, or take a chance that your kid tests into a great high school.
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Old 12-11-2011, 10:38 PM
28,394 posts, read 68,375,711 times
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Asked and answered:


"As a general policy the home you buy is where your kids will go to school in Illinois. Some districts have some flexibility of enrollment, but for the most part this is not needed in the desirable districts."

More bluntly: To the best of my knowledge there is no school district in the region that routinely will allow for students that live outside the district boundaries to enroll in schools within the district. School choice in other states that allow such things is not looked upon favorably in Illinois. There is one unique exception to the above rule: students' whose legal address is a hotel/motel/shelter are allowed to enroll in any school district in the state. This is supposed to be a help to students in families that are "homeless" however it is very infrequently used.

The situation described by the poster above is in effect in the City of Chicago. The "Options For Knowledge" was ostensibly set-up to desegrate the Chicago Public Schools, most folks would say it has not been successful in that regard, it has, however been effective in creating a number of "selective admissions" schools / programs, some of which show quite good academic results CPS Office of Academic Enhancement
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