New Jersey's Interdistrict Public School Choice Program enables approved choice districts to enroll students who do not reside within their districts without cost to their parents. The program increases educational opportunities for students and their families by providing students with school options outside of their district of residence and giving parents the power to select a school program that best serves their child's individual needs.District participation in the program is optional. Once approved, the choice district designates the available seats in specific grades and programs that are open to choice students. Where choice options are available, any student who resides in New Jersey is eligible to apply.Each August, the NJ Department of Education approves new choice districts for the next school year. There are currently 136 approved Choice Districts for the 2014-15 school year.
The choice school must be located within the State.
To be eligible for transportation services, choice school students must reside remote and20 miles or less from their choice school. Students who live less than remote from their choice school are eligible for courtesy transportation services in accordance with the policies of the district board of education in which they live. The cost of transportingchoice school students must not exceed the per student maximum expenditure established by N.J.S.A. 18A:39-1a. (Currently $884.00 per student per year)
Special education students must reside remote and 20 miles or less from their choiceschool of attendance. Those students who reside less than remote from their choiceschool are eligible for courtesy transportation in accordance with the policies of the district board of education in which they live. Special education students are also eligible for transportation services as specified by the student’s individual education plan (IEP).
The words, “remote from the schoolhouse” shall mean beyond 2 ½ miles for high school students and beyond two miles for elementary school students. Measurement shall be made by the shortest route along public roadways or public walkways between the entrance of the student’s residence nearest such public roadway or walkway and the nearest public entrance of the choice school.