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—Kukor v. Grover (1989)
Art. 10 § 3.The legislature shall provide by law for the establishment of district schools, which shall be as nearly uniform as practicable; and such schools shall be free and without charge for tuition to all children between the ages of 4 and 20 years….
In Wisconsin, attendance zones could be vulnerable to an equal protection challenge and strict scrutiny review, because the WI Supreme Court has ruled “that it is a fundamental right of every child in this state to have an equal opportunity for education.”
Voluntary for districts. A school district may admit students outside of a school’s attendance area prior to admitting students from outside the district.Wis. Stat. § 118.51
Required for districts. But districts can refuse to enroll students if there is no space left over after residents of the district have been admitted.Wis. Stat. § 118.51
State Law Establishing Attendance Zones
State Law Criminalizing Use Of Incorrect Address
Charter School Admissions
Charter schools are forbidden from discriminating against students based on their residential address within the school district. The exception is conversion charter schools that must give enrollment priority to students who reside in the former attendance area of the school.Wis. Stat. § 118.40