(a) General rule.--The board of school directors of a school district may use funds received from the Commonwealth for educational purposes to establish a program of tuition grants to provide for the education of students who reside within the district and attend or will attend a public or nonpublic school on a tuition-paying basis.
(b) Nonpublic school grant amount.--For students who attend or will attend a nonpublic school, the grant amount for each student shall not exceed the amount of the per pupil State subsidy for basic education of the school district of residence.
(c) Average daily membership.--
(1) A student who receives a tuition grant under this section shall be included in the average daily membership for purposes of determining the school district of residence's basic education funding.
(2) A student who receives a grant under this section to attend a public school outside the school district awarding the tuition grant shall not be included in the average daily membership of the school district the student attends.
(1) The board of school directors of a school district shall prepare guidelines on all the following:
(i) Establishment of an application form and approval process.
(ii) Standards for verification of the accuracy of application information.
(iii) Confirmation of attendance by a student who receives a tuition grant.
(iv) Restrictive endorsement of grant checks by parents to the school chosen by the parents.
(v) Pro rata refunds of grants for students who withdraw during the school year.
(vi) Repayment of refunded grants to the school district.
(vii) Reasonable deadline dates for submission of grant applications.
(2) The board of school directors of a school shall announce the award of grants no later than August 1 of the school year in which the grants will be utilized.
(3) Upon receipt of written confirmation of enrollment from the student's school of choice, grants shall be paid to the parents of a student by a check that may only be endorsed to the selected school.
(4) In the event a student is no longer enrolled prior to the completion of the school term, the school shall send written notice to the school district.
(e) Nontaxable.--Grants awarded to students under this section shall not:
(1) Be considered taxable income for purposes of a local taxing ordinance or for purposes of Article III of the Tax Reform Code of 1971.1
(2) Constitute financial assistance or appropriations to the school attended by the student.
(f) Construction.--Nothing in this section shall be construed to empower the Commonwealth or a school district or any of their agencies or officers to do any of the following:
(1) Prescribe the course content or admissions criteria for any religiously affiliated school.
(2) Compel any private school to accept or enroll a student.
(3) Impose any additional requirements on any private school that are not otherwise authorized.
(4) Require any school to accept or retain a student if the school does not offer programs or is not structured or equipped with the necessary facilities to meet the special needs of the student or does not offer a particular program requested.