More than 2,000 Hamilton County students who attend high-priority schools now are eligible to transfer schools halfway through the year.
Although the Tennessee Department of Education asked for a federal waiver so school districts wouldn't have to offer transfers to students, the waiver was denied.
"We had pretty much thought it was a done deal," said Sheryl Randolph, Hamilton County's director of student services.
Amanda Maynord Anderson, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Education, said the U.S. Department of Education told state officials they denied the waiver because they wanted to stay consistent and had already denied similar requests by other states.
See Friday's Times Free Press for complete coverage.
NEW PAIRED SCHOOLS
* Soddy-Daisy High: Hixson High or Ooltewah High
* Dalewood Middle: Loftis Middle or Soddy-Daisy Middle
* East Lake Academy: Brown Middle (zoned students) or East Hamilton Middle (zoned students)*
* Tyner Middle Academy: Red Bank Middle (zoned students) or Hixson Middle (zoned students)
* Orchard Knob Elementary: Daisy Elementary or Allen Elementary
* Hillcrest Elementary: Snow Hill Elementary or Birchwood Elementary
* Rivermont Elementary: Falling Water Elementary or Soddy Elementary
* If magnet students not zoned for the school choose to leave, they must return to their home school.