Bringing School Choice to Oregon Families

Your Money. Your Child.
Your Choice.

Bringing School Choice to Oregon Families

Your Money. Your Child. Your Choice.

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about the School Choice Amendment and the Open Enrollment Amendment

Oregon School Choice, Open Enrollment, Money follows the student

School Choice Amendment

What is a School Choice Account?

A School Choice Account is a savings account, administered by a nonprofit organization chosen by the parent, into which the state will deposit a portion of Oregon’s education dollars. With a School Choice Account, parents may customize their child’s education and direct that the education dollars be spent on various nonpublic educational options such as private school tuition, home school curriculum, educational therapy, tutors, computers, transportation, vocational schools, and other approved educational costs for their child.

Who is eligible to receive a School Choice Account?

Any Oregon resident student who is eligible for enrollment or is already enrolled in an Oregon K-12 public school may choose to opt out of public school and request a School Choice Account.

How are School Choice Accounts funded?

The money to fund the School Choice Accounts will come from the CAT, lottery, income taxes, and property taxes Oregon citizens already pay. The legislature allocates a portion of those taxes to be used for education. Only 80% of a portion of these taxes, on a per student basis, will be transferred to the School Choice Account. The remaining 20% will still be used for public schools in the same manner it was used before. The Amendment will not take any of the federal funds, levies, bonds, special grants, or statutory or special carve-outs that the public schools receive.

How will Home Schoolers benefit from the School Choice Amendment while being protected from regulation?

Home Schoolers may choose to participate in the benefits and protections of a School Choice Account. If they opt out of public school and request a School Choice Account, Oregon education dollars will be deposited into their School Choice Account at the nonprofit organization the parents chose. The homeschool parents may then customize their child’s education and direct that those education dollars be spent on the items needed to educate their child such as curriculum, tutors, educational therapy, etc. Once the state’s education dollars are deposited into the School Choice Account, the education dollars are NO longer public funds. That breaks the string between public funds and government regulation. The School Choice Amendment gives home schooling families protection from government regulation: Parents who choose to have a School Choice Account cannot be forced to change their creed, teaching credentials or qualifications, curricula, or education practices.         Click here for more info.

How does School Choice help low-income families?

School Choice allows Oregon education dollars to follow the student to the schools and services that best fit the educational needs of the student. School Choice breaks the barrier between where you live and access to quality education because any students, regardless of income level or address, may choose to withdraw from public school and receive funds to pay for nonpublic educational options.

How does the School Choice Amendment help private schools?

For private school choice, private school parents may choose to opt out of their public school attendance zone and request a School Choice Account. Oregon education dollars will be deposited into the Account, administered by the nonprofit organization chosen by the parent. The parent may direct that the money be used to pay for private school tuition, uniform, education therapist, and other education items for Parent’s child.

How does School Choice help public school students?

School Choice programs help students in public schools because choice programs encourage public schools to innovate and improve to meet the public students’ needs. According to the Milton Friedman organization “EdChoice,” of the 26 studies that examine the competitive effects of school choice programs on public schools, 24 found positive effects. School Choice programs help the most important stakeholders in education: the students. Click here for more info.  

How does School Choice help students with special needs?

During the pandemic many students with special needs suffered because they were denied the in-person special education services they needed when their public schools were closed. These special needs students may now need special tutoring or therapies to get them back on track. Parents of special needs students may use the funds in their School Choice Account to purchase a wide variety of special education services their children need. Through the use of School Choice Accounts, families may customize the education for their children by including unique features like private tutors, technological devices and educational services and therapies.

May Homeschool Parents stop using a School Choice Account at any time?

Yes. If home school parents no longer wish to participate in the benefits and protections of the School Choice Amendment the parents just give written notice to the state agency overseeing education that they wish to terminate their School Choice Account. Home school parents will then need to rely on the legislative exception to compulsory attendance in public school to continue to home school their children. 

Open Enrollment Amendment

Who is eligible for Open Enrollment?

Each Oregon resident student who is eligible to attend Oregon K-12 public schools, who is not then subject to expulsion or suspension, has the right throughout the year to choose a public school, including charter school. 

How do I sign up?

Each school district shall make readily and easily available detailed info about the statewide, year-round open enrollment application process. 

What if more students want to switch to a public school than there is room available?

The school will give the students living in that district priority, as normally occurs. Then, any students from a different school within that same district get second priority. And finally, any students from outside that school district who wish to attend that school will be entered into an equitable lottery so that each student receives an equal opportunity to be chosen. 

Will this amendment allow my child to attend any public school or charter school in Oregon?

Yes, the Open Enrollment Amendment gives parents the chance to send their child to any public or charter school across Oregon that has classroom or program space.

Does the Open Enrollment Amendment hurt Oregon's Public School transportation system?

No. We are not changing how Oregon Public Schools operate. Except as required by federal law, the chosen school district shall not be required to provide transportation outside the attendance zone of that chosen school district.