Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 1. Community Choice Schools Act


20-11-116. Enrollment. (1) (a) A community choice school must be open to any student residing in the state.

(b) A school district may not require a student enrolled in the school district to attend a choice school.

(c) A choice school may limit admission to students within a given age group or grade level.

(d) A choice school may be organized for a special emphasis, theme, or concept as stated in the school's proposal.

(e) A choice school shall enroll all students who wish to attend the school unless the number of students exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade level, or building.

(f) If capacity is insufficient to enroll all students who wish to attend the school, the choice school shall select students through a lottery.

(2) A traditional public school converting to a choice school shall adopt and maintain a policy giving enrollment preference to students who reside within the former attendance area of that public school.

(3) (a) A choice school shall give enrollment preference to students who were enrolled in the choice school the previous school year and to siblings of students already enrolled in the choice school. An enrollment preference for returning students and siblings excludes those students from entering a lottery.

(b) A choice school may give enrollment preference to children of a choice school's employees and governing board, limited to no more than 10% of the school's total student population.

(4) This section does not preclude the formation of a community choice school for the purpose of serving students with disabilities, students of the same gender, students who pose a sufficiently severe disciplinary problem to warrant a specific educational program, or students who are at risk of academic failure. If capacity is insufficient to enroll all students who wish to attend a school, the choice school shall select students through a lottery.

(5) If a student who was previously enrolled in a choice school enrolls in any other public school in this state, the student's new school shall accept credits earned by the student in courses or instructional programs at the choice school.

(6) A traditional school district shall provide or publicize to parents and the general public information about choice schools as an enrollment option within the district's physical, geographical boundaries to the same extent and through the same means that the district provides and publicizes information about traditional public schools in the district.

(7) An authorizer may not restrict the number of students a choice school may enroll. The capacity of the choice school must be determined annually by its governing board in conjunction with the authorizer and in consideration of the choice school's ability to facilitate the academic success of its students, to achieve the objectives specified in the charter contract, and to ensure that its student enrollment does not exceed the capacity of its facility or site.

(8) If the choice school is the only public school in a town, the choice school must give preference to enrolling pupils residing in the town or within 5 miles of the school if the next closest public school is more than 10 miles away from the student's residence.

History: En. Sec. 11, Ch. 513, L. 2023.