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Decision Number
Sharing agreement with Blue Earth Area School District
Duane A. and Julie A. Davids
North Iowa Community School District
Full Text

The Davids appeal alleges that the North Iowa local school board is compelled by Iowa Code section 282.8 to approve a reciprocal open enrollment agreement with the Blue Earth Area School District. The Appeal was DISMISSED for the following reasons:

The general open enrollment statute (Iowa Code section 282.18) may be used only for intrastate enrollment.
Enrollment out of state (other than by the family paying tuition privately to the out-of-state school) is governed by sections 282.7(3) and 282.8:

- 282.7(3) is for whole grade sharing across state lines.

- The agreement may only be with a South Dakota school district because only Iowa and South Dakota have an interstate agreement for whole grade sharing across state lines

- Any agreement reached between the boards of an Iowa school district and a SD school district must be approved by the SEAs of both states

- 282.8 is for open enrollment across state lines

- Any agreement reached between the boards of an Iowa school district and a school district in another state must be approved by th SEAs of both stats

- Any such agreement must be reciprocal; that is, an Iowa school board must understand that it stands to lose students via open enrollment to another state, as well as to gain enrollment of out-of-state students

- In addition, a student who lives in an Iowa school district that has such an approved agreement must actually reside closer to the appropriate attendance center out-of-state than to the attendance center in the student's resident district

- Neither 282.7(3) nor 282.8 creates a mandate that compels a local school board to enter into a sharing agreement with a school district from an adjacent state.

The Davids lack standing under Iowa Code section 290.1 because the Davids do not reside nearer to the attendance center their children attend in the Blue Earth district than to the attendance center their children would attend in North Iowa.

That the family has voluntarily made the choice to not take advantage of the tuition-free education available to its children in their resident school district does not mean that the Davids are deprived of equal protection under the law because the state is not treating the Davids disparately.

The dismissal of the appeal filed by Mr. and Mrs. Davids is confirmed.