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May 31, 2009

Students surging out of Madison School District

Gayle Worland
Wisconsin State Journal

More than 600 students living in the Madison School District have applied to leave their hometown schools through open enrollment next fall -- more than any previous year.

While district officials say it's likely only about half will actually leave, the district wants to know why so many want to go.

The net number of students who left the Madison district through open enrollment jumped from 156 in 2007-08 to 288 this school year.

One explanation for the jump, district officials say, is that since 2008, the district no longer considers the effect of open enrollment on its racial balance. The district suspended that practice in February 2008, eight months after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling cast doubt on the enforceability of a state law the district cited in denying transfer requests.

Still, Madison superintendent Dan Nerad said the increasing numbers are a concern.

"There's all kinds of reasons that people make this choice," he said, "but it's not a dissimilar pattern than you'll find in other quality urban districts surrounded by quality suburban districts."

Posted by Jeff Henriques at May 31, 2009 9:42 AM
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