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Decision Number
Jeff Rude
Doug & Bonnie Rude
Keota Community School District
Full Text

Just before Christmas break, Appellants went to Superintendent Henningsen and told her that they wanted to open enroll Jeff back into Mid-Prairie immediately. Dr. Henningsen advised them that it was too late. The parents didn't fill out a formal ap-plication for open enrollment at that time. Instead, Jeff cleaned out his desk on the last day of school before Christmas vacation. He didn't return to Keota in January of 1996. Unbe-knownst to the administration or teachers at Keota, Mr. Rude and Jeff moved back into Mr. Rude's sister's home in January and en-rolled Jeff in Mid-Prairie on January 3, 1996.

On January 3, 1996, Mrs. Rude contacted Superintendent Henningsen and informed her that Jeff was attending Mid-Prairie Schools. Dr. Henningsen spoke to the Rudes' landlord and found that they had not moved from the residence located in the Keota District. Dr. Henningsen then contacted Dr. Cook, who is the Superintendent of the Mid-Prairie District, and asked him to investigate. He found that the bus was picking up Jeff in Mid-Prairie at a relative's home. As a result of a conference between the administration at Mid-Prairie and the Rudes, Appellants moved Jeff back to the Keota District and filed an open enrollment ap-plication which was denied by the District Board on February 6, 1996. His application was denied because it was late without "statutory good cause."

Appellants know that they filed after the deadline, but feel that they meet the "good cause" requirements to enroll in the Mid-Prairie Community School District. "Good cause," however, is defined by statute. The Legislature chose to define the term "good cause," rather than leaving it up to parents or school boards to determine. Although this may sound unfair to the par-ents, it was the Legislature's determination that all parents be treated equally in all school districts throughout the state. Therefore, the statutory definition of "good cause" addresses two types of situations that must occur before the filing deadline is excused: 1) A change in the child's residence; or 2) A change in the status of the resident school district.

The "statutory excuses" set forth above have been found inappli-cable to the present case. We agree with the District in con-cluding that statutory "good cause" does not exist.

That the decision of the Board of Directors of the Keota Community School District made on February 6, 1996, denying Appellants' untimely open enrollment request for their son to attend the Mid-Prairie Community School District immediately and thereafter, was affirmed.