DES MOINES, Iowa – A metro family is upset after learning a request to leave the Des Moines School District was denied.
Mysty Peterson wanted to take her children, 11-year-old Tytin and 10-year-old Sloan, from DMPS and open enroll them into a home-based online program called the Iowa Connection Academy operated under the CAM school district.
Both kids have been accepted into the CAM District, but when Mysty requested open enrollment out of Des Moines it was denied.
“I don`t understand how Des Moines Public Schools feels they have the power to say where a parent has to send their child to school,” says Peterson.
Phil Roeder with Des Moines Public Schools says this is because of the districts diversity plan, which is based on socioeconomic status.
“The goal of this is really to maintain some balance in the diversity of our schools across the district.,” says Roeder.
Denied open enrollment out of the district isn’t uncommon.
In the 2014-2015 school year 384 requests came in and only 124 were approved.
Mysty said her son suffers from ADHD and has a doctor’s note suggesting at home learning would be a better environment, Roeder says the district can offer that.
“In this particular instance, this is a service the district can provide and provide well for the student. Des Moines Public Schools has a home instruction program for students who are learning at home,” says Roeder.
However, Mysty isn’t comfortable home-schooling her children, the CAM program offers satellite learning with teachers provided.
“I took every step they told me to take but now I`m out of options and people don`t know how to fight something so big, Des Moines Public Schools is huge, how do you fight that,” says Peterson.
Mysty is appealing the decision by the district.
She also will have the option to appeal again to the State Department of Education.