Ed Choice
School Choice Overview - General Information

The Florida Legislature recognizes the value of an educational system that provides numerous and meaningful options for students and their parents. In order to promote and encourage parental involvement and ensure students have access to a school that meets their needs, the Florida Legislature enacted Section 1002.31, Florida Statutes , which directs each school district to develop a controlled open enrollment plan. A controlled open enrollment plan allows school districts to make student school assignments considering parents’ indicated preferential school choice as a significant factor. Legislation also provides for a hardship process and an appeals process to be put into place, as part of a controlled open enrollment plan.

Appeals can be made based on the outcome of the School Choice lottery. For more information on this process and timeline visist the 21-22 Controlled Open Enrollment Plan.

For the 2021-22 school year, when a parent/guardian feels that a school choice hardship consideration is appropriate, the parent/guardian may submit a hardship request to be considered for attendance at a school other than the student’s home-zoned school. An application may be submitted to be reconsidered for attendance at a school other than the student’s home-zoned school.

Important information to be considered before completing your application:
School Choice Hardship Considerations include:

Hardship requests are reviewed by the committee on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month considered on a case by case basis. Such determination(s) shall be based upon factors which include without limitation the District’s Open Enrollment plan, applicable State and Federal law, and School Board Policy. The student must remain enrolled at his/her current/home-zoned school until the applicant has received the determination of the team. An email notification with the outcome will be sent to the email address on file. The determination of the team is final.

  • Transportation is not provided to students on School Choice.
  • Hardships granted as a result of an address change occurring during the 2021-2022 school year will only be valid through the end of the 2021-2022 school year, and not through the highest grade served. Students must reapply for School Choice for the 2022-2023 school year during the School Choice Controlled Open Enrollment Window.
  • All Pasco County schools are monitored for class size availability. Not all grade levels are available at the schools listed on the School Choice Hardship Application.
  • Approval to attend a school outside of a student’s zone can be rescinded due to poor attendance, grades or behavior or if a student withdraws from a program (such as IB) upon which the approval was based. District consideration of choice applications and hardship requests includes without limitation a review of the District’s Open Enrollment Plan, applicable State and Federal Law, and School Board Policy. For more information on School Choice, please visit our website at http://www.pasco.k12.fl.us/ed_choice.
  • A student must be entering kindergarten and be five (5) years old on or before September 1 of the current school year to be eligible for School Choice reassignment. Pre-K students are not eligible.

For more information on the School Choice Controlled Open Enrollment Plan-Hardship Request, please review the Controlled Open Enrollment Plan. The preferences outlined below will not be applied for Pre-K hardship requests. Per the document, hardships under this request process include the following.


  • Military Orders
  • Foster Care Placement/Adoption
  • Medical and/or psychological matters;
  • Legal or law enforcement matters;
  • Sibling consideration
  • New Employee or employee transfer
  • Student Displacement Due to School Boundary Reassignments or Overcrowding
  • Opportunity and other State Scholarship Programs.
  • Any other circumstances demonstrating a hardship.
  • A student, who is otherwise in good standing, withdraws from an approved School of Choice, and the parents want their child to return to the same School of Choice. Upon withdrawal from the School of Choice, the student will return to their regularly zoned school until otherwise transferred through the next upcoming School Choice Controlled Open Enrollment Plan’s application process.
  • A student withdraws from a program or course of study that was the underlying basis for attending the School of Choice, and the parents want their child to return to the School of Choice. Upon withdrawal from the program or course of study, the student will return to their regularly zoned school until otherwise transferred through the next upcoming School Choice Controlled Open Enrollment Plan’s application process.

***Hardship applications received due to a move/change of address when possible will be approved for the remainder of the current school year. Families must reapply for school choice during the Controlled Open Enrollment Window for the 2021-22 for school year for consideration to remain at that school.

The Hardship Application can be requested by emailing pascopathways@pasco.k12.fl.us. A confirmation of receipt will be issued when the application has been submitted successfully. Applications are on-line only. Computers are available at schools or at a public library, and assistance will be provided as a reasonable accommodation to those with a disability. If assistance is needed with the application process, contact the district office at pascopathways@pasco.k12.fl.us.