Portland Public Schools’ transfer policies have historically been some of the most generous in existence. The intent of them was to allow parents to choose schools freely regardless of where in the city they chose to live and to keep kids from leaving the public school system for private options.
This high degree of choice, however, has been accused of “sucking” students from some schools and leading to overcrowding of others. It is also being credited with lessening the diversity within individual schools as parents who have the savvy and the capability to seek out transfers leave their neighborhood schools for more highly preferred schools with specialized programs or better evaluations.
PPS is revising, revamping and outright changing their transfer policies to address these issues and in hopes of finding more funding somewhere. Transfers for students younger than high school age have already been limited and other changes are underway.
How to balance choice and the needs of neighborhood schools? The needs and interests of individual students with the good of the school district as a whole? The ideal of racial diversity in theory with the reality of diversity in practice?
Read the background articles here!