School board members in the Conejo Valley Unified School District will vote tonight on annual enrollment limits designed to ensure that all schools have proportional student populations.
Each year, parents are allowed to petition for an intra-district transfer for their children. Parents this year have until March 31.
Although district officials say they like to fulfill parents' requests, transfers can upset the balance, so a cap is placed on enrollment at each school.
The problem is being exacerbated by the steady increase of the student population in the district as a whole, officials say.
"It's a great idea to give people choice, but it doesn't always work because our schools are getting full," school board member Dorothy Beaubien said. "Population is increasing in this community. More people are moving here. The irony is that they're moving here because of the schools."
Since 1994, the state has required school districts to offer parents a choice of schools.
School choice, like mandatory class-size reduction, has become a math problem in balancing school populations, officials say.
Elementary schools simply don't have enough room for additional students from outside their assigned service areas, according to the district.
Middle schools are another problem, board member Patricia Phelps said. The district is faced with an unusually large number of students in the middle school age range, putting a strain on the district's four middle schools.