Act 129 of 2012
The first public high school choice law, Act 150, was passed in
2000. It required each high school to join with at least one
other school to form a choice region. Students were allowed to
attend only schools within the region. 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. Act 129 of 2012 is
included in Vermont's Statutes, at Title 16, Section 822a.
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.
Public High School Choice
This document covers aspects of the prior high school choice law
that have not changed and important parts of the new law; it also
highlights how the new law will be implemented.
This is a concise question and answer document describing how
public high school choice works in Vermont.
This document describes the law − and the process, including the
use of lotteries, if needed − allowing school boards to limit the
number of students who will be allowed to transfer from schools
to other schools. If a student is selected for a transfer, the
next step is to learn whether the school the student wishes to
attend has enough capacity to accept the student.
This document describes the criteria school boards may use in
determining their schools' capacity to receive students from
other schools, including the use of lotteries if needed.
This new map was designed by the Agency of Education and includes
all public high schools in the state, including a mileage chart.
Archived Annual Reports (2003-2008)
Use this link to view the complete text of the public high school
choice law on the Vermont Legislature's Web site.
The Agency provides this comprehensive document, outlining what
has changed − and what has not − in public high school choice as
a result of the legislature's passing Title 16, Section 822a in
the spring of 2012.
Other Laws & Resources
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.
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
Trevor Lewis at email@example.com or (802) 479-1754
Page Last Updated on August 21, 2014