First Regular Session
Sixty-first General Assembly
LLS NO. 970423.01 JAP
HOUSE BILL 971259
STATE OF COLORADO
BY REPRESENTATIVES Pfiffner and May;
also SENATORS B. Alexander and Coffman.
A BILL FOR AN ACT
CONCERNING FINANCING ALTERNATIVES FOR EDUCATION,
AND, IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, ESTABLISHING THE PILOT SCHOLARSHIP
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced
and does not necessarily reflect any amendments which may be subsequently
For the 199798 through 200304 school years, establishes a pilot scholarship program for disadvantaged pupils. Provides that, under the program, school districts would provide scholarships to parents or legal guardians of eligible pupils that could be presented to nonpublic schools. Excludes parochial schools from the definition of "nonpublic school". Establishes a maximum value for the scholarships.
Establishes eligibility requirements for pupils and places limitations on participation in the scholarship program by nonpublic schools. Provides for the payment of the value of the scholarship upon enrollment of the pupil in the nonpublic school. Specifies that acceptance of money through scholarships does not make a nonpublic school subject to state regulation. Allows parents who provide a nonpublic homebased educational program to receive reimbursement for the purchase of materials and supplies.
Requires the department of education to submit a
report on the pilot scholarship program prior to repeal of the
program on July 1, 2004.
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:
Pilot Program for Disadvantaged Pupils
2239101. Short title. THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE KNOWN AND MAY BE CITED AS THE "PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM".
2239102. Legislative declaration. (1) THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY HEREBY FINDS AND DECLARES THAT:
(a) CHILDREN SHOULD BE AFFORDED OTHER EDUCATIONAL CHOICES IN ADDITION TO THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN THEIR DISTRICTS OF RESIDENCE;
(b) BY PROVIDING SUCH CHOICES, THESE CHILDREN ARE ALLOWED TO IMPROVE THEIR LEARNING POTENTIAL THROUGH EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES THAT ARE BEST SUITED TO THEIR INDIVIDUAL NEEDS; AND
(c) THE PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE IS TO ESTABLISH A PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM THAT PROVIDES THESE CHILDREN WITH THE OPPORTUNITY TO ATTEND NONPUBLIC SCHOOLS OR TO PARTICIPATE IN A NONPUBLIC HOMEBASED EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM.
2239103. 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) "ELIGIBLE PUPIL" MEANS A PUPIL WHO MEETS THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS SPECIFIED IN SECTION 2239104 (2) FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM.
(3) "NONPUBLIC HOMEBASED EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM" HAS THE SAME MEANING AS SET FORTH IN SECTION 2233104.5.
(4) "NONPUBLIC SCHOOL" MEANS ANY NONPUBLIC SCHOOL OPERATING IN THIS STATE, THAT HAS BEEN IN OPERATION FOR AT LEAST THREE YEARS, AND THAT WILL ENROLL A PUPIL WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM. "NONPUBLIC SCHOOL" DOES NOT INCLUDE A PAROCHIAL SCHOOL.
(5) "PER PUPIL OPERATING REVENUES" HAS THE SAME MEANING AS SET FORTH IN SECTION 2254103 (9).
(6) "PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM" MEANS THE PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM FOR DISADVANTAGED PUPILS ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 2239104 (1).
(7) "PUPIL ENROLLMENT" HAS THE SAME MEANING AS SET FORTH IN SECTION 2254103 (10).
(8) "SCHOLARSHIP NOTE" MEANS AN INSTRUMENT, PREPARED AND ISSUED BY A DISTRICT TO THE PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN OF AN ELIGIBLE PUPIL, THAT INCLUDES THE NAME OF THE ELIGIBLE PUPIL AND CERTIFIES THAT THE DISTRICT SHALL PAY TO A NONPUBLIC SCHOOL AN AMOUNT OF MONEY EQUAL TO THE TUITION CHARGED FOR ENROLLMENT OF THE NAMED ELIGIBLE PUPIL OR EIGHTY PERCENT OF THE STATE AVERAGE PER PUPIL OPERATING REVENUE, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 2254103 (12), WHICHEVER IS LESS.
2239104. Pilot scholarship program establishment eligibility. (1) THERE IS HEREBY ESTABLISHED A PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM FOR DISADVANTAGED PUPILS TO ALLOW ANY ELIGIBLE PUPIL TO ATTEND A NONPUBLIC SCHOOL AND TO ASSIST PARENTS WHO CHOOSE TO PROVIDE NONPUBLIC HOMEBASED EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS FOR THEIR CHILDREN.
(2) A PUPIL IN ANY ONE OF THE GRADES ONE THROUGH TWELVE OR IN KINDERGARTEN IF KINDERGARTEN IS OFFERED IN THE DISTRICT IS ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM IF ALL OF THE FOLLOWING APPLY:
(a) THE PUPIL IS ELIGIBLE FOR FREE OR REDUCED COST LUNCH PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE FEDERAL "NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH ACT", 42 U.S.C. SEC. 1751, ET SEQ.
(b) IN THE PRIOR SCHOOL YEAR THE PUPIL WAS ENROLLED IN A PUBLIC SCHOOL, WAS ENROLLED IN A NONPUBLIC SCHOOL UNDER THE PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM, OR WAS NOT ENROLLED IN ANY SCHOOL NOR PARTICIPATING IN ANY NONPUBLIC HOMEBASED EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM.
(3) THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION MAY ADOPT RULES PURSUANT TO 244103, C.R.S., AS NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE.
(4) NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF SUBSECTION (2) OF THIS SECTION, NO MORE THAN FIVE PERCENT OF A DISTRICT'S PUPIL ENROLLMENT MAY PARTICIPATE IN THE PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM IN THE FIRST YEAR IN WHICH THE DISTRICT PARTICIPATES IN THE PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM. THE DISTRICT MAY INCREASE THE NUMBER OF PUPILS RECEIVING SCHOLARSHIPS BY AN ADDITIONAL FIVE PERCENT OF THE DISTRICT'S PUPIL ENROLLMENT FOR EACH YEAR THEREAFTER. IF THE NUMBER OF ELIGIBLE PUPILS WHO CHOOSE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM EXCEEDS THE MAXIMUM NUMBER THAT MAY PARTICIPATE UNDER THIS SUBSECTION (4), THE DISTRICT, ON A RANDOM BASIS, SHALL SELECT THE ELIGIBLE PUPILS WHO WILL BE ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE; EXCEPT THAT THE DISTRICT SHALL GIVE PREFERENCE TO THOSE PUPILS WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM IN THE PRECEDING YEAR.
(5) THE DISTRICT SHALL ISSUE TO THE PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN OF AN ELIGIBLE PUPIL CHOSEN TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION A SCHOLARSHIP NOTE PREPARED BY THE DISTRICT THAT THE ELIGIBLE PUPIL MAY USE TO ENROLL IN A NONPUBLIC SCHOOL UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 2239105.
2239105. Enrollment in nonpublic school school not subject to state control. (1) AN ELIGIBLE PUPIL CHOSEN TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM MAY USE A SCHOLARSHIP NOTE TO ENROLL IN A NONPUBLIC SCHOOL SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING LIMITATIONS:
(a) THE NONPUBLIC SCHOOL CANNOT DISCRIMINATE ON THE BASIS OF DISABILITY, RACE, CREED, COLOR, NATIONAL ORIGIN, ANCESTRY, OR RELIGION.
(b) THE NONPUBLIC SCHOOL CANNOT CHARGE A PUPIL ENROLLING IN THE NONPUBLIC SCHOOL UNDER THE PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM TUITION IN AN AMOUNT THAT EXCEEDS THE NORMAL AND USUAL AMOUNT OF TUITION CHARGED OTHER PUPILS ENROLLED IN THE SCHOOL.
(c) THE NUMBER OF PUPILS ENROLLED IN THE NONPUBLIC SCHOOL UNDER THE PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM CANNOT EXCEED FORTYNINE PERCENT OF THE TOTAL ENROLLMENT OF THE NONPUBLIC SCHOOL.
(2) THE PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN OF AN ELIGIBLE PUPIL SHALL SUBMIT AN APPLICATION TO THE NONPUBLIC SCHOOL THAT THE ELIGIBLE PUPIL WISHES TO ATTEND NO LATER THAN JULY 1 PRIOR TO FALL SEMESTER ENROLLMENT. WITHIN FORTYFIVE DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF THE APPLICATION, THE NONPUBLIC SCHOOL SHALL NOTIFY THE ELIGIBLE PUPIL'S PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN, IN WRITING, WHETHER THE APPLICATION HAS BEEN ACCEPTED. IF APPLICATIONS FOR ENROLLMENT FROM ELIGIBLE PUPILS EXCEED THE NUMBER OF APPLICATIONS THAT MAY BE ACCEPTED PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION (1) OF THIS SECTION, THE NONPUBLIC SCHOOL, ON A RANDOM BASIS, SHALL SELECT THE ELIGIBLE PUPILS WHO WILL BE ALLOWED TO ENROLL; EXCEPT THAT THE NONPUBLIC SCHOOL SHALL GIVE PREFERENCE TO THOSE ELIGIBLE PUPILS WHO WERE ENROLLED IN THE NONPUBLIC SCHOOL UNDER THE PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM IN THE PRECEDING YEAR.
(3) A NONPUBLIC SCHOOL THAT ENROLLS ELIGIBLE PUPILS WHO ARE PARTICIPATING IN THE PILOT SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM MAY ACCEPT MONEYS PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE AND SHALL NOT BE SUBJECT TO REGULATION BY ANY SCHOOL DISTRICT OR BY THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION AS A RESULT OF ACCEPTING SAID MONEYS.
2239106. Reimbursement for materials used in a nonpublic homebased educational program. (1) THE PARENT OF ANY PUPIL PARTICIPATING IN A NONPUBLIC HOMEBASED EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM PURSUANT TO SECTION 2233104.5 IS ELIGIBLE UNDER THE PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM TO RECEIVE REIMBURSEMENT IN AN AMOUNT UP TO THE PER PUPIL AMOUNT SPECIFIED IN SECTION 2254105 (1) (b) PER PUPIL PER SCHOOL YEAR FOR THE PURCHASE OF MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES USED IN THE NONPUBLIC HOMEBASED EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM. PUPILS WHOSE PARENTS RECEIVE REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THIS SECTION ARE IN ADDITION TO THOSE WHO ENROLL IN A NONPUBLIC SCHOOL UNDER THE PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM AND ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THE LIMITS SPECIFIED IN SECTION 2239104 (4).
(2) TO RECEIVE REIMBURSEMENT PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION:
(a) THE PUPIL SHALL MEET THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS SPECIFIED IN SECTION 2239104 (2);
(b) THE PARENT OF THE PUPIL PARTICIPATING IN THE NONPUBLIC HOMEBASED EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM SHALL HAVE NOTIFIED THE PUPIL'S SCHOOL DISTRICT OF RESIDENCE OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PROGRAM, AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 2233104.5 (3) (e);
(c) ON OR BEFORE OCTOBER 1 OF EACH SCHOOL YEAR, THE PUPIL'S PARENT SHALL SUBMIT TO THE PUPIL'S DISTRICT OF RESIDENCE A RECEIPT FOR THE PURCHASE OF MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES TO BE USED IN THE NONPUBLIC HOMEBASED EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM FOR THE SCHOOL YEAR. THE RECEIPT SHALL INCLUDE A DESCRIPTION OF EACH ITEM PURCHASED, THE COST OF EACH ITEM, AND THE DATE OF PURCHASE.
2239107. Payment nonpublic school scholarship notes materials for nonpublic homebased educational programs. (1) ON PRESENTMENT OF A SCHOLARSHIP NOTE BY THE PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN OF A PUPIL PARTICIPATING IN THE PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM, ACCOMPANIED BY ADEQUATE PROOF OF ENROLLMENT IN A NONPUBLIC SCHOOL BY THE PUPIL NAMED ON THE SCHOLARSHIP NOTE AND THE AMOUNT OF TUITION CHARGED BY THE NONPUBLIC SCHOOL, THE PUPIL'S DISTRICT OF RESIDENCE SHALL FORWARD TO THE NONPUBLIC SCHOOL AN AMOUNT OF MONEY EQUAL TO THE VALUE OF THE SCHOLARSHIP NOTE.
(2) NOTHING IN THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO REQUIRE A DISTRICT TO PAY THE COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION, ROOM AND BOARD, FEES, BOOKS, EQUIPMENT, OR ANY OTHER COSTS OF ATTENDING A NONPUBLIC SCHOOL OTHER THAN THE AMOUNT OF THE SCHOLARSHIP NOTE.
(3) (a) ON RECEIVING A RECEIPT FOR THE PURCHASE OF MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES FOR USE IN A NONPUBLIC HOMEBASED EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM, THE DISTRICT SHALL REIMBURSE THE PUPIL'S PARENT FOR THE AMOUNT OF PURCHASE; EXCEPT THAT REIMBURSEMENT SHALL NOT EXCEED THE PER PUPIL AMOUNT SPECIFIED IN SECTION 2254105 (1) (b) PER PUPIL PER SCHOOL YEAR.
(b) THE BOARD OF EDUCATION FOR EACH DISTRICT SHALL ESTABLISH PROCEDURES FOR PARENTS TO APPLY FOR REIMBURSEMENT PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION.
2239108. Inclusion of pupils participating in the pilot scholarship program 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, 1997, ELIGIBLE PUPILS WHO PARTICIPATE IN THE PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM BY ENROLLING IN A NONPUBLIC SCHOOL IN THE CURRENT BUDGET YEAR SHALL BE CONSIDERED TO BE ENROLLED IN THE DISTRICT OF RESIDENCE.
2239109. Report to general assembly. (1) ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 1, 2004, THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SHALL SUBMIT A REPORT TO THE JOINT BUDGET COMMITTEE AND THE EDUCATION COMMITTEES OF THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ASSESSING THE PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM. TO COMPILE THE REPORT, THE DEPARTMENT MAY REQUEST INFORMATION FROM DISTRICTS, NONPUBLIC SCHOOLS, AND PARENTS PROVIDING NONPUBLIC HOMEBASED EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS PARTICIPATING IN THE PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM, BUT NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL REQUIRE ANY DISTRICT, NONPUBLIC SCHOOL, OR PARENT TO PROVIDE SUCH INFORMATION. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL INCLUDE, AS A PART OF THE REPORT, THE FOLLOWING:
(a) ON A DISTRICTBYDISTRICT BASIS, A COMPARISON OF THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF PUPILS IN THE DISTRICT WHO ARE PARTICIPATING IN THE PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM AND THE PUPILS WHO ARE ATTENDING PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN THE DISTRICT;
(b) RECOMMENDATIONS ON WHETHER TO MAKE THE PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM A PERMANENT PROGRAM;
(c) RECOMMENDATIONS ON HOW TO CHANGE THE PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM TO MAKE IT MORE SUCCESSFUL;
(d) RECOMMENDATIONS ON WHETHER TO EXPAND THE NUMBER OF PUPILS ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM; AND
(e) RECOMMENDATIONS ON WHETHER TO CHANGE THE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE PILOT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM.
2239110. Repeal of article. THIS ARTICLE IS REPEALED, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2004.
SECTION 2. No appropriation. The general assembly has determined that this act can be implemented within existing appropriations, and therefore no separate appropriation of state moneys is necessary to carry out the purposes of this act.
SECTION 3. Effective date. This act shall take effect at 12:01 a.m. on the day following the expiration of the ninetyday period after final adjournment of the general assembly that is allowed for submitting a referendum petition pursuant to article V, section 1 (3) of the state constitution; except that, if a referendum petition is filed against this act or an item, section, or part of this act within such period, then the act, item, section, or part, if approved by the people, shall take effect on the date of the official declaration of the vote thereon by proclamation of the governor.