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LAUSD school CHOICES window opens today; deadline is Nov. 16

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The window for applying to a school outside your area starts today, Monday, Oct. 8, and runs through Nov. 16. That's an earlier closing date than in previous years.

It used to be that if you went to public school, you only had one choice — go to the school nearest your home. Now, students and their parents in the Los Angeles Unified School District have a variety of options. But don’t take too long to think about them. 

Parents may submit applications online, through the mail or in person.

This degree of choice applies to more than the district’s 172 magnet schools. Under the federal No Child Left Behind law, parents whose children attend a school that's not meeting academic targets may transfer them to one that is.

If your child's local school has a homogenous student population of any ethnicity, and you seek a more culturally integrated experience, you may apply for the Permit with Transfer program.

L.A. Unified wait-lists hundreds of families each year, sometimes for several years, depending on the program they want. So district officials urge all parents not to procrastinate.

The district is running a half-hour program called "CHOICES 2013" on its television station, KLCS-TV. The show features some of LA Unified's magnet schools and provides details about the different programs available.

Here's where you can download an application or get step-by-step help on filling one out.