An examination of inter-district public school transfers in Wisconsin
Using data for all Wisconsin school districts over the 2003/04 through 2006/07 school years, we evaluate the state of Wisconsin's Open Enrollment (inter-district transfer) program to determine which school district characteristics influence parental transfer decisions. To our knowledge, this is the first study of school choice in a public school setting that evaluates transfer decisions controlling for district characteristics from which the students are transferring. The main result of our research indicates that parents of transfer students reside in districts with high property values but low taxes, and they choose to send their children to higher spending school districts. Other key findings are that parents send their children to districts with lower percentages of minorities, and are more likely to transfer from districts with fewer extracurricular opportunities.
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