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 9. Student Enrollment and Attendance


Finding a way to get students to come to school has been an issue since the days of the one room red schoolhouse. Even in today’s society where the necessity of an education is so apparent, there remain students who do not and will not attend school and, more surprisingly, parents who do not and will not send them. Yet, today, public schools often face an equally difficult problem of dealing with students who enroll in school and sometimes attend but have no real interest in pursuing an education. They attend under court order or threat, in order to be eligible for some benefit or because of parental demands, but while at school are often a disruptive influence. Local boards of education in many parts of Georgia also face the issue of overcrowded schools and the issue of determining what students are residents and thus entitled to an education paid for by the taxpayers of the school district and what students can be charged tuition or refused enrollment totally. Complicating these issues are legislative developments and political movements advocating more choice for parents and a greater right to choose among public schools or even private institutions.

This chapter will explore what are some of the most difficult, practical and legal issues facing boards of education and school administrators. Where there exists statutory authority, it will be described. Where there exists less guidance from the legislature or the courts, the issues will be defined.



9. 1 At what ages are students required to attend school in Georgia?
9. 2 How does Georgia law define a private school for purposes of complying with the Compulsory Attendance Act?
9. 3 What is required of the parent or guardian who wishes to teach a child in a home study program?
9. 4 What are the consequences for violating the Compulsory Attendance Act?
9. 4.a What is the school attendance protocol committee and what role does it serve?
9. 5 At what age are students eligible and entitled to attend public school in Georgia?
9. 7 How long can students continue to attend school in Georgia?
9. 8 What documents or information must be provided by parents for a student to enroll in public school?
9. 9 What are the requirements for the certificate of immunization?
9. 10 Can the immunization requirement be waived?
9. 11 Are there additional requirements for students seeking to enroll or transfer into a new high school or middle school?
9. 12 What right do parents have to review and question records sent from one school system to another?
9. 13 Under what circumstances can a school system refuse to enroll a student who has had discipline problems at a previous school?
9. 14 What school system is a student entitled to attend?
9. 15 How does a board of education determine where a student resides?
9. 16 When is a child emancipated and can such a child establish his or her own residence?
9. 17 Should school systems require that parents produce proof of custody as part of the enrollment process?
9. 18 Can the school system require that an adult enrolling the child apply for and obtain legal guardianship over the child?
9. 19 What options are available to school systems to determine residency in difficult cases?
9. 20 Can a board of education allow non-resident students to attend its schools and, if so, can it charge tuition?
9. 21 Can a board of education impose different requirements on non-resident students seeking to enroll in its system than could be imposed on resident students?
9. 22 Is a board of education allowed or required to give special consideration to children of employees, even if they are not residents of the district?
9. 23 What responsibility do school systems have to educate wards of the state or children placed in state facilities located within the district?
9. 24 Are there special programs or funds available for migrant students?
9. 25 What responsibility do school systems have to educate homeless children?
9. 26 Can one board contract with another board to educate some of the students within its district?
9. 27 Does Georgia law allow students to choose to go to a school in another district or school attendance zone other than where they are assigned?
9. 28 Does a board of education have the right to establish mandatory attendance zones, requiring students to attend school within those zones?
9. 29 Under what circumstances can a court order a school system to develop and maintain attendance zones based upon racial considerations or racial quotas?
9. 30 Does state law specify what constitutes an excused absence for a student?
9. 31 Under the State Board of Education rule, what are the reasons for an excused absence?
9. 32 Can a local board of education have a policy which punishes students with excessive absences?
9. 33 What is the definition of truancy and when can a student be prosecuted for being truant?
9. 37 Can a student's absences affect eligibility for a driver's license?
9. 38 Are there limitations on the right of sixteen and seventeen year olds to withdraw from school?
9. 39 Can a student be removed from the school roll without parental consent?
9. 40 What attendance records are school systems required to maintain?
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