First Regular Session
Sixty-first General Assembly
LLS NO. 970586.01 JAP
HOUSE BILL 971228
STATE OF COLORADO
BY REPRESENTATIVES Dean, May, and Pfiffner.
A BILL FOR AN ACT
CONCERNING A MECHANISM FOR REIMBURSING PARENTS FOR
THE COSTS INCURRED IN SENDING THEIR CHILDREN TO NONPUBLIC SCHOOLS,
AND, IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, REQUIRING THE ELIGIBLE ELECTORS
OF EACH SCHOOL DISTRICT TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE MECHANISM SHALL
BE EFFECTIVE IN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced
and does not necessarily reflect any amendments which may be subsequently
Provides that a parent whose child is not enrolled in a nonpublic school as of July 1, 2000, who chooses to send the child to a nonpublic school on or after said date may receive reimbursement of all or a portion of the tuition costs paid.
Specifies the procedure for submitting a statement for reimbursement and for reimbursing the parent. Limits the amount of reimbursement to the amount paid in tuition or 90% of the per pupil operating revenues of the child's school district of residence, whichever is less; except that, if the child is determined to have a disability, limits the amount of reimbursement to the amount paid in tuition or 90% of the school district's per pupil operating revenue plus the amount of state special education funds received by the school district for the child, whichever is less. Specifies limitations with which the nonpublic school must comply in order for the parent to receive reimbursement.
Specifies that the child of any parent who receives reimbursement is included in the school district's pupil enrollment for school finance purposes. Provides that if a court determines that reimbursement to a parent whose child attends a parochial school is unconstitutional, the definition of "nonpublic school" for purposes of this act does not include a parochial school.
Requires each school district in the 1999 November election to submit a ballot question to the eligible electors in each school district to determine whether the reimbursement mechanism shall be effective in the school district.
Refers the act to the ballot in the 1998 general
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:
SECTION 1. Title 22, Colorado Revised Statutes, 1995 Repl. Vol., as amended, is amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW ARTICLE to read:
2255101. Legislative declaration. THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY HEREBY FINDS THAT CHOICE IN AND COMPETITION AMONG EDUCATIONAL OPTIONS IS BENEFICIAL IN MAINTAINING THE QUALITY OF THE EDUCATIONAL CHOICES THAT ARE AVAILABLE. THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY DECLARES THAT, IN ORDER TO ENCOURAGE PARENTS TO EXERCISE EDUCATIONAL CHOICE, THE DOUBLE BURDEN OF TUITION AND SCHOOL DISTRICT PROPERTY TAXES BORNE BY PARENTS WHO CHOOSE TO SEND THEIR CHILDREN TO A NONPUBLIC SCHOOL MAY BE REDUCED BY REIMBURSING ALL OR A PORTION OF THE AMOUNT PAID BY SUCH PARENTS IN TUITION. THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY CONCLUDES, HOWEVER, THAT ISSUES OF EDUCATIONAL CHOICE AND THE APPROPRIATE METHODS OF ENCOURAGING EDUCATIONAL CHOICE ARE BEST DETERMINED BY THE RESIDENTS OF EACH SCHOOL DISTRICT. THEREFORE, THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY DECLARES THAT THE PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE IS TO ESTABLISH A REIMBURSEMENT MECHANISM FOR PARENTS WHO CHOOSE TO SEND THEIR CHILDREN TO A NONPUBLIC SCHOOL, BUT LEAVE THE CHOICE OF WHETHER TO ADOPT THE MECHANISM TO THE ELIGIBLE ELECTORS OF EACH SCHOOL DISTRICT.
2255102. Definitions. AS USED IN THIS ARTICLE, UNLESS THE CONTEXT OTHERWISE REQUIRES:
(1) "DISTRICT" MEANS ANY PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT ORGANIZED UNDER THE LAWS OF COLORADO, EXCEPT A JUNIOR COLLEGE DISTRICT.
(2) "NONPUBLIC SCHOOL" MEANS ANY NONPUBLIC SCHOOL OPERATING IN THIS STATE.
(3) "PER PUPIL OPERATING REVENUES" HAS THE SAME MEANING AS SET FORTH IN SECTION 2254103 (9).
2255103. Education reimbursement amount eligibility procedure. (1) ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 2000, ANY PARENT WHO CHOOSES TO ENROLL HIS OR HER CHILD IN A NONPUBLIC SCHOOL MAY RECEIVE REIMBURSEMENT FROM THE CHILD'S DISTRICT OF RESIDENCE FOR ALL OR A PORTION OF THE COST OF THE NONPUBLIC SCHOOL IF THE CHILD MEETS THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENT SPECIFIED IN SUBSECTION (2) OF THIS SECTION AND THE PARENT COMPLIES WITH THE PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS SPECIFIED IN THIS SECTION.
(2) A PARENT IS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE REIMBURSEMENT PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION IF THE PARENT'S CHILD WAS NOT ENROLLED IN A NONPUBLIC SCHOOL PRIOR TO JULY 1, 2000.
(3) (a) TO RECEIVE REIMBURSEMENT PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, A PARENT, ON OR BEFORE SEPTEMBER 1 OF EACH SCHOOL YEAR FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED, SHALL SUBMIT TO HIS OR HER CHILD'S DISTRICT OF RESIDENCE A STATEMENT SHOWING THE AMOUNT OF TUITION PAID BY THE PARENT AT A NONPUBLIC SCHOOL FOR A CHILD WHO WOULD OTHERWISE BE ENROLLED IN THE DISTRICT. SAID STATEMENT SHALL INCLUDE THE NAME AND ADDRESS OF THE NONPUBLIC SCHOOL, THE NAME AND ADDRESS OF THE CHILD ENROLLED AT THE NONPUBLIC SCHOOL, CONFIRMATION THAT THE NONPUBLIC SCHOOL COMPLIES WITH THE LIMITATIONS SPECIFIED IN SECTION 2255104, AND CONFIRMATION BY THE NONPUBLIC SCHOOL THAT THE CHILD IS ENROLLED FOR THE UPCOMING SCHOOL YEAR AND THAT THE PARENT HAS PAID THE AMOUNT SPECIFIED IN THE STATEMENT. THE PARENT SHALL SUBMIT A SEPARATE STATEMENT FOR EACH CHILD FOR WHICH THE PARENT IS CLAIMING REIMBURSEMENT.
(b) THE DISTRICT SHALL KEEP ON FILE ALL STATEMENTS RECEIVED PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH (a) OF THIS SUBSECTION (3). ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 1 OF THE SCHOOL YEAR FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED, THE SCHOOL DISTRICT SHALL ISSUE A CHECK TO EACH PARENT WHO SUBMITTED A STATEMENT PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH (a) OF THIS SUBSECTION (3). THE CHECK SHALL BE IN AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE TUITION PAID BY THE PARENT OR NINETY PERCENT OF THE DISTRICT'S PER PUPIL OPERATING REVENUES FOR THE SCHOOL YEAR FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED, WHICHEVER IS LESS; EXCEPT THAT, IF THE CHILD ENROLLED IN A NONPUBLIC SCHOOL HAS BEEN DETERMINED TO HAVE A DISABILITY PURSUANT TO SECTION 2220108, THE CHECK SHALL BE IN AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE TUITION PAID BY THE PARENT OR NINETY PERCENT OF THE DISTRICT'S PER PUPIL OPERATING REVENUES PLUS A PROPORTIONATE SHARE OF THE STATE FUNDS RECEIVED BY THE DISTRICT FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS PURSUANT TO SECTION 2220114, FOR THE SCHOOL YEAR FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS REQUESTED, WHICHEVER IS LESS. THE PROPORTIONATE SHARE SHALL BE DETERMINED BY DIVIDING THE AMOUNT RECEIVED BY THE DISTRICT PURSUANT TO SECTION 2220114 BY THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN ENROLLED IN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT WHO ARE DETERMINED TO HAVE A DISABILITY PURSUANT TO SECTION 2220108.
2255104. Nonpublic school criteria. (1) IN ORDER FOR A PARENT TO RECEIVE REIMBURSEMENT PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE, THE NONPUBLIC SCHOOL AT WHICH THE PARENT ENROLLS HIS OR HER CHILD SHALL BE SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING LIMITATIONS:
(a) THE NONPUBLIC SCHOOL SHALL NOT DISCRIMINATE ON THE BASIS OF DISABILITY, RACE, CREED, COLOR, NATIONAL ORIGIN, OR ANCESTRY.
(b) THE NONPUBLIC SCHOOL SHALL NOT CHARGE A CHILD WHOSE PARENT IS ELIGIBLE FOR REIMBURSEMENT PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE AN AMOUNT OF TUITION THAT EXCEEDS THE NORMAL AND USUAL AMOUNT OF TUITION CHARGED OTHER CHILDREN ENROLLED IN THE SCHOOL.
2255105. Inclusion of children whose parents receive reimbursement in the district pupil enrollment. FOR PURPOSES OF DETERMINING A DISTRICT'S PUPIL ENROLLMENT UNDER ARTICLE 54 OF THIS TITLE, FOR BUDGET YEARS BEGINNING ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 2000, ANY CHILD WHOSE PARENT RECEIVES REIMBURSEMENT PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE IN THE CURRENT BUDGET YEAR SHALL BE CONSIDERED TO BE ENROLLED IN THE DISTRICT OF RESIDENCE.
2255106. Applicability parochial nonpublic schools. THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY HEREBY DECLARES THAT, IN THE EVENT A STATE APPELLATE COURT OR A FEDERAL COURT DETERMINES THAT PROVIDING REIMBURSEMENT PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE TO A PARENT WHO CHOOSES TO ENROLL HIS OR HER CHILD IN A PAROCHIAL SCHOOL VIOLATES EITHER THE STATE OR THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION, THE DEFINITION OF "NONPUBLIC SCHOOL" AS STATED IN SECTION 2255102 (2) SHALL BE CONSTRUED AS EXCLUDING PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS.
2255107. School district choice effectiveness of article. (1) (a) AT AN ELECTION HELD ON THE FIRST TUESDAY IN NOVEMBER, 1999, THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF EACH DISTRICT SHALL SUBMIT TO THE ELIGIBLE ELECTORS OF EACH DISTRICT THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:
"SHALL THE ............ SCHOOL DISTRICT ADOPT THE PROVISIONS SPECIFIED IN ARTICLE 55 OF TITLE 22, COLORADO REVISED STATUTES, GRANTING TO ANY PARENT WHOSE CHILD IS NOT ENROLLED IN A NONPUBLIC SCHOOL PRIOR TO JULY 1, 2000, BUT WHO CHOOSES, ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 2000, TO ENROLL HIS OR HER CHILD IN A NONPUBLIC SCHOOL REIMBURSEMENT OF THE AMOUNT PAID BY THE PARENT IN TUITION OR NINETY PERCENT OF THE PER PUPIL OPERATING REVENUES OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT, WHICHEVER IS LESS?
YES ....... NO ........"
(b) UPON CERTIFICATION OF THE VOTE, EACH DISTRICT SHALL NOTIFY THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION WHETHER A MAJORITY OF THE ELIGIBLE ELECTORS IN THE DISTRICT APPROVED THE BALLOT QUESTION.
(2) THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE EFFECTIVE ONLY IN THOSE DISTRICTS IN WHICH A MAJORITY OF THE ELIGIBLE ELECTORS APPROVE THE BALLOT QUESTION SPECIFIED IN SUBSECTION (1) OF THIS SECTION.
SECTION 2. Refer to people under referendum. This act shall be submitted to a vote of the registered electors of the state of Colorado at the next biennial regular general election, for their approval or rejection, under the provisions of the referendum as provided for in section 1 of article V of the state constitution, and in article 40 of title 1, Colorado Revised Statutes. Each elector voting at said election and desirous of voting for or against said act shall cast a vote as provided by law either "Yes" or "No" on the proposition: "SHALL THE STATE OF COLORADO ADOPT A STATUTORY MECHANISM UNDER WHICH THE ELIGIBLE ELECTORS OF EACH SCHOOL DISTRICT CHOOSE TO ALLOW ANY PARENT WHOSE CHILD IS NOT ENROLLED IN A NONPUBLIC SCHOOL PRIOR TO JULY 1, 2000, BUT WHO CHOOSES, ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 2000, TO ENROLL HIS OR HER CHILD IN A NONPUBLIC SCHOOL MAY RECEIVE REIMBURSEMENT OF THE AMOUNT PAID BY THE PARENT IN TUITION OR NINETY PERCENT OF THE PER PUPIL OPERATING REVENUES OF THE CHILD'S SCHOOL DISTRICT OF RESIDENCE, WHICHEVER IS LESS?" The votes cast for the adoption or rejection of said act shall be canvassed and the result determined in the manner provided by law for the canvassing of votes for representatives in Congress.