Public High School Choice

Public High School Choice Resources

In Act 129 of 2012, the legislature made school choice statewide by allowing students to apply to attend any other high school in the state, effective in School Year 2013 - 2014. Schools are allowed to limit the number of students who may transfer from a school, with a cap of 10 percent of resident students or 40, whichever is smaller; schools may set higher limits.

Schools are also required to determine annually their capacity to receive students, using a variety of criteria, although there are is no numerical or percentage formula. If more students want to transfer out of − or enroll into − a school than there are places available, nondiscriminatory lotteries are used. The law provides no funding for transportation, and, unless schools agree otherwise, no tuition or other charges changes hands.

In addition, other laws provide school choice options in Vermont, the most important of which are those allowing that tuition be paid by towns of residence if they do not have schools at certain grade levels and if they are not part of supervisory unions.

Map of Vermont's Public High Schools

Complete Text of Title 16, Section 822a, Public High School Choice

Archived Annual Reports (2003-2013)


Other Laws & Resources

Other School Choice Options in Vermont (December 2012)

This document is a summary of other choice options, including the legal residence of a student's parents if separated, and school boards' general authority to accept students from other towns. It also describes the legal framework within which towns − which do not operate schools or are not part of union districts − pay tuition for their students to attend other public schools or approved independent schools.

Public School Choice in Vermont - A Report to the Vermont General Assembly by the Vermont State Board of Education (January 19, 1999)

To support its intent to institute a statewide program of public school choice in grades 9-12 by the year 2000-2001, the General Assembly asked the State Board of Education to work with interested groups and individuals to produce implementation plans for consideration by future legislatures and policy makers. Legislators acknowledged a number of "complexities" to be addressed, and stated a number of "policies" to be considered.


Clare O'Shaughnessy at or (802) 479-1761

Page Last Updated on August 12, 2016