Section: Public institutions and agencies; effect of repealer thereon
7. a. The parents or guardian of a student shall notify the sending district of the student's intention to participate in the choice program and shall submit an application to the choice district, indicating the school the student wishes to attend, no later than the date specified by the commissioner. To be eligible to participate in the program, a student shall be enrolled at the time of application in grades preschool through 12 in a school of the sending district and have attended school in the sending district for at least one full year immediately preceding enrollment in the choice district, provided that a "sending district" includes any school district that a student in a particular district of residence is required by law to attend. The one-year requirement shall not apply to a student enrolling in preschool or kindergarten in the choice district, if that student has a sibling enrolled in the choice district. Openings in a designated school of a choice district shall be on a space-available basis, and if more applications are received for a designated school than there are spaces available, a lottery shall be held to determine the selection of students. Preference for enrollment may be given to siblings of students who are enrolled in a designated school.
If there is an opening in a designated school of a choice district and there is no student who is enrolled in a sending district who meets the attendance requirements of this subsection, including a student who has been placed on a waiting list based on a lottery held in the choice district, then the choice district may fill that opening with a public school student who does not meet the attendance requirements of this subsection or a nonpublic school student.
b. A choice district may evaluate a prospective student on the student's interest in the program offered by a designated school. The district shall not discriminate in its admission policies or practices on the basis of athletic ability, intellectual aptitude, English language proficiency, status as a handicapped person, or any basis prohibited by State or federal law.
c. A choice district shall not prohibit the enrollment of a student based upon a determination that the additional cost of educating the student would exceed the amount of additional State aid received as a result of the student's enrollment. A choice district may reject the application for enrollment of a student who has been classified as eligible for special education services pursuant to chapter 46 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes if that student's individualized education program could not be implemented in the district, or if the enrollment of that student would require the district to fundamentally alter the nature of its educational program, or would create an undue financial or administrative burden on the district.
d. A student whose application is rejected by a choice district shall be provided with a reason for the rejection in the letter of notice. The appeal of a rejection notice may be made to the commissioner.
e. Once a student is enrolled in a designated school, the student shall not be required to reapply each school year for enrollment in any designated school of the choice district and shall continue to be permitted to be enrolled until graduation. A student shall be permitted to transfer back to a school of the sending district or may apply to a different choice district during the next application period.
f. A choice district shall accept all of the credits earned toward graduation by a student in the schools of the sending district.
g. A choice district shall notify a sending district upon the enrollment of a choice student resident in that district.
L.2010, c.65, s.7.
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