North Dakota

Does state law require public schools to be "open to all"?


Does state law mandate "equality of educational opportunity"?


Do the courts recognize education as a fundamental right?

Yes—Bismarck Public School District No. 1 v. State (1994)

State Constitution

Art. 8 § 1. A high degree of intelligence, patriotism, integrity and morality on the part of every voter in a government by the people being necessary in order to insure the continuance of that government and the prosperity and happiness of the people, the legislative assembly shall make provision for the establishment and maintenance of a system of public schools which shall be open to all children of the state of North Dakota and free from sectarian control.


In North Dakota, attendance zones could be vulnerable on two legal fronts: (1) a challenge based on the promise in the state constitution that the public schools be “open to all children of the state,” and (2) an equal protection challenge with strict scrutiny review, because the ND Supreme Court has ruled education to be a fundamental right.The ND Supreme Court requires a supermajority of four justices (out of five total) to rule a statute unconstitutional.

Open Enrollment

No laws found.The largest district—Fargo Public Schools— has a policy (AP 6710) that allows students to attend schools outside their “assigned attendance area” but geographic enrollment preferences are in place for families in the zones.

Voluntary for districts. It does not appear that the resident district must provide approval of transfer. N.D. Cent. Code § 15.1-31-06

State Law Establishing Attendance Zones

None found.

State Law Criminalizing Use Of Incorrect Address

None found.

Charter School Admissions

No charter school law.