Hi Eugene, phew, this is a "can-of-worms" question. Short answer is "yes, no, and maybe." Here's why it is difficult to answer this question:
As a Fremont City Council candidate in 1998 I came across a major statewide systemic issue when it comes to schools and housing, which still exists in many areas. Assuming a General Law city that follows the Stateâ€™s rules (as opposed to a Charter City that can make rules by having the populous vote), when a new housing project goes before a City Council you will never find a sitting Council turn down a project due to the impacts on schools â€“ no matter how many worried parents fill the Council chambers.
The determination of impacts on public schools is the purview of the local School District. A School District will not inform a City Council that it will be unable to handle the influx of children from a new project for two primary reasons: 1) the District is paid on a â€œheadcount per day basisâ€ (the value of which is different for each city based on its incorporation date), and 2) if a District were to state that they are unable to accommodate new students this leaves them open to being run by the State. Hence, this completes the loop of the basic systemic problem.
This leaves the school districts, especially in todayâ€™s budget-weary environment, to practice â€œload-balancingâ€ of the student population. While this can dismay parents who long for the traditional â€œneighborhood schoolâ€, the fact is that busing, boundary changes, lotteries, and portable â€œtemporaryâ€ classrooms are tools to maximize the utilization of school capacities and avoid over-crowding on individual school campuses.
When it comes to schools and attendance the only source for accurate information is the school district office. The first bit of information they will ask is the home address you are asking for, since they use physical address to determine attendance area (the manipulation of attendance areas is a heated and politically-charged issue). Even though the home may be located in a certain school's attendance area doesn't mean the child will go to the neighborhood school.
Even when there is an overcrowded school, some people will still buy in the area and just wait it out until their child attends the neighborhood school. Once a child is in a neighborhood school its uncommon to shift them to an out of neighborhood school.
School API Scores can be found here: