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Decision Number
Meranda Guse
Kandyce Guse
George Community School District
Full Text

Appellant filed her daughter's open enrollment application on September 7, 1995. She actually had until June 30, 1996 on which to file because Meranda would be entering kindergarten. Appellant's application was denied on September 21, 1995 and she was notified of the denial by a letter from the superintendent.

The superintendent when asked if the Board denied this timely-filed application because of financial considerations, replied no. He admitted that the Board knew it did not have the legal right to deny this application and if the application was appealed to the State Board, it would be reversed. He testified that his Board denied the application "to make a statement."

Appellant testified that the wrongful denial of her application cost her a day of vacation from work. She stated that she has 3 young children and that she saves her vacation days for when the children are ill. The Appellant in this hearing suffered incon-veniences beyond the burden of time and energy required to prosecute her appeal. She was forced to take a day of vacation from her job which may preclude her ability to care for her sick children in the future without incurring additional financial obligation. If there were any way to compensate Appellant for her time and inconvenience, the hearing panel would susggest that the State Board order it. Unfortunately, Iowa Code chapter 290 does not provide for such sanctions.

If an open enrollment application is timely-filed and insufficient classroom space or the requirements of a desegrega-tion plan or order are precluded, the local board has no authority to deny the application. The use of the term "application," which implies that the parent seeks Board approval of the open enrollment request, is a misnomer. If the form is timely filed, the resident district board has no discretion to deny the open enrollment. See, e.g., In re Brett Austin Hansen, et al., 13 D.o.E. App. Dec. 7(1995).

That the decision of the George Community School District's Board of Directors made on September 21, 1995, denying Appellant's application was reversed.