By: Julie Brown Hunt, EdSurge, February 5, 2017
In an effort to simplify student enrollment in Oakland, California, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) and Enroll Oakland Charters (EOC) have partnered with SchoolMint to provide families with a school chooser and an automated, unified application. Using the school chooser, from either a computer or mobile device, parents are able to see which schools match their needs after inputting their address and selecting from different criteria, such as after school programs and language programs. Once parents have gathered information on their school options, Oakland’s unified application allows parents to fill out one application for charter schools and one application for district schools, as opposed to one application for each school of interest.
While this system saves time and increases equity amongst all families, this school choice movement has faced some opposition. Anti-charter groups are concerned that streamlining the application process increases the likelihood that families will favor charter schools over district schools, thus moving resources away from OUSD.