School Choice Policies

Charter School Choice

Does the state have charter schools?

Are for-profit charter schools or management companies allowed?


A public charter must be governed by a non-profit, but there is no mention of whether a charter's education service provider must be non-profit. An education service provider is defined as "[an] entity with which a public charter school intends to contract with for educational design, implementation, or comprehensive management. This relationship shall be articulated in the public charter school application."

AL Code 16-6F-4(9) & (16)b
AL Code 16-6F-9

Is there a cap on the number of charter schools?


Only 10 new start-up approvals per year. There are no limits on the number of conversion public schools that may be approved in a year.

AL Code § 16-6F-6(b)(1-5)

Are charters required to provide transportation for any students?


No requirement.

AL Code 16-6F-10(b)(5)

Can charter schools employ uncertified teachers?


Teachers are exempt from state teacher certification requirements: "Public charter schools shall comply with applicable federal laws, rules, and regulations regarding the qualification of teachers and other instructional staff. In accordance with subsection (a), teachers in public charter schools shall be exempt from state teacher certification requirements."

AL Code 16-6F-9(e)(1)

Virtual School Choice

Do state statutes allow for full-time virtual schools?


Virtual public schools are permitted. "Before the 2016-2017 school year, each local board of education shall adopt a policy providing, at a minimum, a virtual education option for eligible students in grades nine to 12, inclusive, beginning with that school year."

Section 16-46A-1

Are virtual schools required to track attendance?

Did not find-

No mention.

Do virtual schools have to comply with state teacher certification requirements?


"A board of education shall be exempt from any provision of general law, local law, or administrative rule that applies to the traditional delivery of instruction including, but not limited to, requirements relating ...staffing the extent any of the foregoing conflict with the delivery of the virtual program."

Section 16-46A-2(c)

Private School Choice

Does the state have voucher programs?


No voucher programs found.

EdChoice School Choice in America

Does the state have educational expense tuition tax credits or deductions?


The Accountability Act of 2013 includes a declaration to "provide financial assistance through an income tax credit to a parent who transfers a student from a failing public school to a non-failing public school or nonpublic school of the parent's choice."

Section 16-6D-3: Legislative findings and intent.

Can students use vouchers to attend religious schools?

Not Applicable-

However, parochial schools are allowed in the tax credit program.

Section 16-6D-4 (11)

Is there a cap on the number of students or private schools participating in voucher programs?

Not Applicable

Are voucher students in private schools required to take any standardized tests?

Not Applicable-

However, "For students in the local school system who are participating in the tax credit program, the local school system shall provide locations and times to take all statewide assessments required by law."

Section 16-6D-8(b)(6)

Can private schools be removed from voucher programs based on performance?

Not Applicable

Are private schools in voucher programs required to provide transportation?

Not Applicable-

However, "If a parent enrolls a student in a nonpublic school or in a non failing public school within another local school system, regardless of whether that system provides transportation services for other enrolled students, transportation of the student shall be the responsibility of the parent."

Section 16-6D-8(b)(8)

Interdistrict School Choice

Does the state have interdistrict choice programs?


"A public charter school shall be open to any student residing in the state."

Section 16-6F-5(a)(1): Open Enrollment

Are receiving schools or districts required to provide transportation to any students?


Public charter schools allow for open enrollment, and public charters are not required to provide transportation. However, we did not find a law that explicitly addresses whether receiving schools/districts are required to provide transportation to students.

AL Code 16-6F-10(b)(5): Reporting of enrollment, attendance, etc.; funding.

Page last updated: December 2020

Click here to download the State Policy Spreadsheet. Click here to download the State Policy Map Data Memo.

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The State Policy Map provides a snapshot of school choice policy found in laws passed by the legislative bodies, for all 50 states and Washington, D.C., based on information gathered from state statutes in fall 2019; data checks continued through December 2020. Information on this site may not include the most up-to-date policy information. The State Policy Map does not systematically reflect state Department of Education administrative policies, rules, or regulations. All content on this site is provided for informational purposes only. Links to third-party websites are for the user’s convenience; neither REACH nor any affiliated entities endorse the contents of third-party sites.

Note: On June 30, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Montana's exclusion of religious schools from the state's tax credit scholarship program was unconstitutional (Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue 591). The responses to the question "Can students use vouchers to attend religious schools?" were collected before this ruling and therefore do not reflect any changes resulting from the Espinoza decision.