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§ 20-2009-B. Opportunity scholarships

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 24 P.S. EducationEffective: July 1, 2019

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 24 P.S. Education
Chapter 1. Public School Code of 1949 (Refs & Annos)
Article XX-B. Educational Tax Credits (Refs & Annos)
Effective: July 1, 2019
24 P.S. § 20-2009-B
Formerly cited as PA ST 72 P.S. § 8709-F
§ 20-2009-B. Opportunity scholarships
(a) Notice.--By February 1 of each year, the department shall provide all opportunity scholarship organizations with a list of the low-achieving schools located within each school district.
(b) Award.--An opportunity scholarship organization may award an opportunity scholarship to an applicant who resides within the attendance boundary of a low-achieving school to attend a participating public school or a participating nonpublic school selected by the parent of the applicant. If an applicant who received an opportunity scholarship for the prior school year resides within the attendance boundary of a school that was removed from the list of low-achieving schools provided by the department under subsection (a), the applicant may receive an opportunity scholarship. The opportunity scholarship may be for each year of enrollment in a participating public school or participating nonpublic school for up to the lesser of five years or until completion of grade 12, provided the applicant otherwise remains eligible. In awarding scholarships, an opportunity scholarship organization shall give preference to any of the following:
(1) An applicant who received an opportunity scholarship for the prior school year.
(2) An applicant of a household with a household income that does not exceed 185% of the Federal poverty level for the school year preceding the school year for which the application is being made.
(3) An applicant of a household with a household income that does not exceed 185% of the Federal poverty level for the school year preceding the school year for which the application is being made and who resides within any of the following:
(i) A first class school district.
(ii) A school district designated as a financial recovery school district under Article VI-A1 for the year for which the award is made.
(c) Home schooling.--An opportunity scholarship organization shall not award an opportunity scholarship to an applicant for enrollment in a home education program under section 1327.1.2
(d) Funding.--The aggregate amount of opportunity scholarships shall not exceed the aggregate amount of contributions made by business firms to the opportunity scholarship organization.
(e) Amount.--
(1)(i) Except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (ii), the maximum amount of an opportunity scholarship awarded to an applicant without a disability shall be $8,500.
(ii) For a student attending an economically disadvantaged school, the maximum amount of an opportunity scholarship awarded to an applicant without a disability shall be $9,500.
(2)(i) Except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (ii), the maximum amount of an opportunity scholarship awarded to an applicant with a disability shall be $15,000.
(ii) For a student attending an economically disadvantaged school, the maximum amount of an opportunity scholarship awarded to an applicant with a disability shall be $16,000.
(3) In no case shall the combined amount of the opportunity scholarship awarded to a recipient and any additional financial assistance provided to the recipient exceed the tuition rate and school-related fees for the participating public school or participating nonpublic school that the recipient will attend.
(f) Designation, reports and notices.--
(1) Each school that desires to be designated as an economically disadvantaged school for a school year shall report the following information to the department by the January 1 preceding the applicable school year:
(i) The total number of students who attend the school as of the date of the report and are the recipients of a scholarship under this article.
(ii) The total number of students attending the school as of the date of the report.
(2) The information required under paragraph (1) shall be submitted on a form provided by the department. No later than the October 15 preceding each school year, the department shall annually distribute or make available electronically to each school in this Commonwealth the forms on which the reports are required to be made.
(3) No later than March 1 after a school has submitted to the department the information required under paragraph (1), the department shall notify the school whether the school meets the requirements of, and will be designated as, an economically disadvantaged school for the applicable school year.
(4) The department shall annually transmit notice of a list of each school designated as an economically disadvantaged school under this section to the Legislative Reference Bureau for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The list shall be posted and updated as necessary on the department's publicly accessible Internet website.
(5)(i) Each school that has been designated by the department as an economically disadvantaged school for an applicable school year shall notify the department by no later than October 15 of the applicable school year of the following information for each recipient of a scholarship registered to attend the school for the applicable school year:
(A) The recipient’s name and address.
(B) The grade of the recipient for the school year with respect to which the scholarship and tuition grant shall be received.
(C) The type and amount of scholarship received by the recipient.
(D) The names and address of the recipient’s parents or guardians.
(ii) The information submitted in this paragraph shall be provided to the opportunity scholarship organization for economically disadvantaged schools.
(iii) Information submitted by a school designated by the department as an economically disadvantaged school shall remain confidential and shall not be subject to the act of February 14, 2008 (P.L. 6, No. 3),3 known as the Right-to-Know Law. The information can be used for administration of the program.

Credits

1949, March 10, P.L. 30, No. 14, art. XX-B, § 2009-B, added 2016, July 13, P.L. 716, No. 86, § 13, imd. effective. Amended 2019, June 28, P.L. 117, No. 16, § 15, effective July 1, 2019.

Footnotes

24 P.S. § 6-601-A et seq.
24 P.S. § 13-1327.1.
65 P.S. § 67.101 et seq.
24 P.S. § 20-2009-B, PA ST 24 P.S. § 20-2009-B
Current through 2021 Regular Session Act 70. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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