Interdistrict choice: Lost in transit

Massachusetts lets students attend school in a neighboring district that agrees to accept transfers. Interdistrict choice primarily has helped more affluent students “with the means to find out about their school choices and afford transportation to the schools they select,” reports Education Sector.

A 1997 study on the impact of Massachusetts’ choice program by the Pioneer Institute, an organization that supports expanded school choice, reported that “the average interdistrict choice student tends to be more affluent, more academically skilled, and is more likely to be white than the average student in sending school districts.”

Higher-performing suburban districts around Boston don’t take transfers. Transfers are money-makers for districts with declining enrollments.

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  1. i live in Massachusetts and looked into this program as a way to send my kid to a good school w/out having to move. none of the good school districts accepted transfers, and the ones that did accept transfers were the ones you’d want to transfer away from generally. i’m surprised that Manchester by the Sea sought transfers; that’s a very ritzy town, but it’s also pretty inaccessible.

  2. But Dave – you forget the beloved METCO program – builder of suburban sports teams. My kids are Boston Public School students but they aren’t eligible for METCO – why is that again? Because they’re not black or Spanish?