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Decision Number
Christopher Pruitt
Howard and Laura Pruitt
Des Moines Independent Community School District
Full Text

Some time in April, Appellant won a custody dispute with his ex-wife and was awarded primary physical custody of Christopher. After Christopher came to live with him, Appellant filed for open enrollment. They thought it would be best if Christopher could continue to go to day care after school in S.E. Polk with his younger brothers. Apparently, Appellants intend to relocate to Runnells, Iowa, in the near future.

Appellants' application for open enrollment was timely-filed under the law even though it was filed after the October 30th deadline for grades 1 through 12. Kindergarten students have an application deadline of June 30, 1996, when they are enrolling for kindergarten during the 1996-97 school year. See, 281--Iowa Administrative Code 17.7. The Appellants' application for open enrollment was not denied because it was late, nor because they did not have a good reason to seek attendance for their son in the S.E. Polk District. His open enrollment application was denied under the District's open enrollment/desegregation policy.

In the appeal under consideration here, the only operative question is whether this is a "non-minority" student who is ineligible because his transfer would adversely affect the District's existing minority/non-minority ratio. (Bd. tr. at 54.) Once that has been determined, the controlling legal principles are applied to determine if the District's denial should be reversed or affirmed. Although the hearing panel sympathizes with the Appellants' reasons for seeking open enrollment and their attempts to provide an educational environment which he feels is most supportive for their child's needs, the controlling legal principles for this open enrollment case have already been decided by the Polk County District Court in Des Moines Indepen-dent Community School District v. Iowa Department of Education, AA2432 (June 1, 1995).

That the decision of the Des Moines Independent Community School District's Board of Directors made on April 23, 1996, denying the open enrollment application of Appellants is hereby recommended for affirmance.