The Iowa Attorney General has recently issued an opinion to the Iowa Department of Education (DE) that the “junior-senior rule” [Iowa Code section 257.6(1)(a)(4)] does not and should not be applied when families move outside of the State of Iowa.
Section 257.6(1)(a)(4) allows a school district to include in its enrollment count junior and senior "nonresident pupils who were residents of the district of the preceding school year and [who remain] enrolled in the district until the pupils graduate."
Questions arise when families move just across the border to Illinois, Nebraska, South Dakota, etc., but the junior or senior student elects to stay in the Iowa district to finish his/her education. The DE’s guidance has been that the district must charge tuition of the family.
The Attorney General agrees that the Iowa district must charge tuition for the student to remain enrolled in Iowa. The junior-senior rule does not apply. The Attorney General’s opinion concludes as follows:
Our system of public schools is designed to fulfill the constitutional obligation to provide a free education to the children of this state and we do not believe that the junior-senior rule is intended to allow students residing outside of Iowa to attend Iowa public schools without paying tuition. Therefore, we conclude that Iowa Code subsection 257.6(1)(a)(4) should be applied only to students who reside within Iowa.