The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School

BVNWnews

The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School

BVNWnews

The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School

BVNWnews

Open enrollment in Kansas

The passing of House Bill 2567 decided that open enrollment would be an option for the 24-25 school year.
A+comprehensive+map+of+all+Kansas+Unified+School+Districts.+%28Map+from+Kansas+State+Department+of+Education%29.
A comprehensive map of all Kansas Unified School Districts. (Map from Kansas State Department of Education).

In years past, students were expected to attend a school within their school district. However, this expectation is changing from the 2024 school year onwards. Kansas law now requires school districts to allow non-resident students to transfer into the district. This new open enrollment policy was originally introduced on Friday, Jan 27th of 2022 and then approved by the governor in May of 2022, and the law is meant to go into effect for the 2024-2025 school year.

When the law was passed, there was dissent among administrators in various school districts, including in the Blue Valley District.

The Blue Valley District’s Deputy Superintendent, Kyle Hayden, was directly involved in the facilitation and implementation of open enrollment.

“Prior to this bill, Blue Valley’s stance was you had to live within the Blue Valley District to attend Blue Valley Schools. This bill basically forced school districts to allow non-resident enrollment,” Hayden said. 

“Prior to this bill, Blue Valley’s stance was you had to live within the Blue Valley District to attend Blue Valley Schools. This bill basically forced school districts to allow non-resident enrollment.”

— Kyle Hayden

When the bill first came through, the district was concerned about how the bill was going to work without being detrimental to current Blue Valley District residents.

“How are we actually going to implement this new legislation as effectively as possible by meeting the letter of the law, first of all,” Hayden said “And secondly, doing it to the non-detriment of current Blue Valley Students”

Part of the district’s concern stemmed from worries about funding and how new students would affect Blue Valley Schools financially.

“The way we are funded currently is on the prior year’s enrollment, so this year’s enrollment would dictate next year’s funding,” Hayden said. With new students being accepted, this would make it hard for the district to properly staff and pay for the addition of students. Fortunately, Hayden believes that this oversight will be changed so that the funding will help with managing the new bill.

Despite originally voicing concerns about open enrollment, Blue Valley has made plans to accommodate this new bill for the 2024-2025 school year. According to the Blue Valley district’s registration page, under Nonresident Transfers, the details and timeline for applications is posted.

Blue Valley will publish the number of open seats in the district. The number of open seats is determined by reviewing current and projected enrollment. The next section titled “Additional Qualifications for Enrollment of Nonresident Students” is the Blue Valley District’s way of managing House Bill 2567.

“We are saying that the first line of qualification for a school is that the projection has to show that it has more than 25% of available space,” Hayden said. As of now, there are two schools expected to have enough space for nonresident transfers.

“Based off of the enrollment projections that we have determined for next year, there are only two schools available that meet the criteria,” Hayden said. “One is Aspen Grove Elementary School, which we just opened, and then the other school is Blue Valley Southwest,”

These two schools are the only ones within the district that are expected to have any way of accommodating nonresident transfers in the 2024 school year.

Then from June 1 to June 30, the application process will begin for nonresident students. Finally, from July 1 to July 15 the applications of nonresident students will be reviewed and approved by the district.

Hayden expressed that he is unsure whether this bill will be positive or negative for the district.

“I think it’s going to be a live-and-learn situation. Our approach philosophically starting out is to be a little bit conservative about it…see what the result is for how many people even apply and what impact that has when we try to staff based off of taking new students” Hayden said.

Hayden explained that while implementing this new bill, Blue Valley’s foremost priority is to current Blue Valley students and residents.

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About the Contributor
Nafsiya Hafiz, Writer
Nafsiya is a junior and a writer for “The Express.” This is her second year on staff. Outside of newspaper, Nafsiya plays the clarinet and draws up “lesson plans” for the Writing Club at BVNW. She hopes to participate in a variety of clubs throughout the school year. In her freetime, Nafsiya enjoys crocheting, reading, hanging out with friends, and listening to music. She is excited to continue writing for “The Express” and is looking forward to the year!

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