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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

HF 482

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 01/28/2019 01:58pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to education; creating choice scholarships for students who have dropped
out of high school; authorizing rulemaking; appropriating money;proposing coding
for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 124D.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

new text begin [124D.035] CHOICE SCHOLARSHIPS FOR HIGH SCHOOL.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Definitions. new text end

new text begin (a) For purposes of this section, the following terms have
the meanings given them.
new text end

new text begin (b) "Eligible high school" means a nonpublic high school that:
new text end

new text begin (1) is located in Minnesota;
new text end

new text begin (2) requires an eligible individual to pay tuition to attend;
new text end

new text begin (3) voluntarily agrees to enroll an eligible individual;
new text end

new text begin (4) is accredited by an accrediting agency, recognized according to section 123B.445,
or recognized by the commissioner;
new text end

new text begin (5) administers all statewide testing required under section 120B.30; and
new text end

new text begin (6) submits to the department data necessary for the commissioner to complete all reports
under section 120B.36.
new text end

new text begin (c) "Eligible individual" means an individual who:
new text end

new text begin (1) is a resident of Minnesota;
new text end

new text begin (2) is at least 16 years of age;
new text end

new text begin (3) has not received a high school diploma;
new text end

new text begin (4) was enrolled in a Minnesota public school within the last two years and has not
attended a public or nonpublic school during the preceding six months; and
new text end

new text begin (5) is a member of a household with an annual income of not more than 150 percent of
the amount required for the individual to qualify for the federal free or reduced-price lunch
program.
new text end

new text begin (d) "Eligible postsecondary institution" means a Minnesota public postsecondary
institution; a private, nonprofit, two-year trade and technical school granting associate
degrees; an opportunities industrialization center accredited by the North Central Association
of Colleges and Schools; or a private, residential, two-year or four-year, liberal arts,
degree-granting college or university located in Minnesota.
new text end

new text begin (e) "Eligible program" means a course of instruction offered at the high school or
postsecondary level designed to lead to high school graduation or its equivalent.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Autonomy of nonpublic schools. new text end

new text begin (a) It is the intent of the legislature to honor
the autonomy of nonpublic schools that choose to become eligible schools under this section.
A nonpublic eligible school is not an agent of the state or federal government. Therefore:
new text end

new text begin (1) the department or any other state agency may not in any way regulate the educational
program of a nonpublic eligible school that accepts a choice scholarship under this section,
including the regulation of curriculum content, religious instruction or activities, classroom
teaching, teacher and staff hiring requirements, and other activities carried out by the eligible
school;
new text end

new text begin (2) the creation of the choice scholarship program does not expand the regulatory
authority of the state, the state's officers, or school districts to impose additional regulation
of nonpublic schools beyond those necessary to enforce the requirements of the choice
scholarship program under this section; and
new text end

new text begin (3) an eligible school shall be given the freedom to provide for the educational needs of
students without governmental controls.
new text end

new text begin (b) The department shall make random visits to at least five percent of eligible schools
to verify that the eligible school complies with the provisions of this section and the
constitutions of the state of Minnesota and the United States. Each eligible school shall
grant the department reasonable access to its premises, including access to the school's
grounds, buildings, and property. Each year, the principal of each eligible school shall
certify, under penalties of perjury under section 609.48, to the department that the eligible
school is complying with the requirements of this section. The department shall develop a
process for eligible schools to follow to make certifications.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Eligibility for scholarships; limit on number of scholarships. new text end

new text begin (a) Subject to
paragraph (b), an eligible individual is entitled to a choice scholarship under this section
for each school year that the eligible student enrolls in an eligible program.
new text end

new text begin (b) The department may not award more than:
new text end

new text begin (1) 1,500 choice scholarships for the 2019-2020 school year; and
new text end

new text begin (2) 3,000 choice scholarships for the 2020-2021 school year.
new text end

new text begin The department shall establish the standards used to allocate choice scholarships among
eligible individuals.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Maximum amount of scholarship. new text end

new text begin The maximum amount to which an eligible
individual is entitled under this section for a school year is equal to the least of the following:
new text end

new text begin (1) the sum of the tuition and fees required for enrollment or attendance of the eligible
individual at the eligible program selected by the eligible individual for a school year that
the eligible individual or the parent of the eligible individual would otherwise be obligated
to pay to the eligible program; and
new text end

new text begin (2) an amount equal to:
new text end

new text begin (i) 90 percent of the state tuition support amount determined under subdivision 5 if the
eligible individual is a member of a household with an annual income of not more than the
amount required for the individual to qualify for the federal free or reduced-price lunch
program; and
new text end

new text begin (ii) 50 percent of the state tuition support amount determined under subdivision 5 if the
eligible individual is a member of a household with an annual income of not more than 150
percent of the amount required for the individual to qualify for the federal free or
reduced-price lunch program.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Determination of state tuition support. new text end

new text begin The state tuition amount to be used
in subdivision 4, clause (2), for an eligible individual equals the general education revenue
under section 126C.10 for the eligible individual's resident district in the preceding school
year divided by the adjusted average daily membership in the eligible individual's resident
district for the preceding school year.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Partial school years. new text end

new text begin If an eligible individual enrolls in an eligible program
for less than an entire school year, the choice scholarship provided under this section for
that school year shall be reduced on a prorated basis to reflect the shorter term. An eligible
individual is entitled to only one choice scholarship for each school year. If the eligible
individual leaves the eligible school for which the eligible individual was awarded a choice
scholarship and enrolls in another eligible program, then that eligible individual is responsible
for the payment of any tuition required for the remainder of that school year.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Forms and methods for determining eligibility. new text end

new text begin The department may prescribe
forms and methods for demonstrating eligibility for a choice scholarship under this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 8. new text end

new text begin Distribution to both eligible individual and program. new text end

new text begin The department may
distribute any part of a choice scholarship to the eligible individual or the parent of the
eligible individual for the purpose of paying the educational costs described in subdivision
4. For the distribution to be valid, the distribution must be endorsed by both the eligible
individual or the parent of the eligible individual and the eligible program providing
educational services to the eligible individual.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 9. new text end

new text begin Scholarship not treated as income. new text end

new text begin The amount of a choice scholarship
provided to an eligible individual shall not be treated as income or a resource for the purposes
of qualifying for any other federal or state grant or program administered by the state or a
political subdivision.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective for the 2019-2020 school year and later.
new text end

Sec. 2. new text beginRULEMAKING.
new text end

new text begin The department shall adopt rules under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 14, to implement
section 1.
new text end

Sec. 3. new text beginAPPROPRIATION.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Department of Education. new text end

new text begin The sums indicated in this section are
appropriated from the general fund to the commissioner of education for the fiscal years
designated.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Choice scholarships. new text end

new text begin For choice scholarships under Minnesota Statutes, section
124D.035:
new text end

new text begin $
new text end
new text begin .......
new text end
new text begin .....
new text end
new text begin 2020
new text end
new text begin $
new text end
new text begin .......
new text end
new text begin .....
new text end
new text begin 2021
new text end