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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 1306

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 02/14/2019 04:16pm

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; modifying child and program eligibility for early learning
scholarships; modifying the commissioner's authority to designate early learning
scholarships for certain programs; clarifying the early childhood screening
requirements for children awarded an early learning scholarship; appropriating
money for early learning scholarships;amending Minnesota Statutes 2018, section
124D.165, subdivisions 2, 3, 4.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 124D.165, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Family eligibility.

(a) For a family to receive an early learning scholarship,
parents or guardians must meet the following eligibility requirements:

(1) have an eligible child; and

(2) have income equal to or less than 185 percent of federal poverty level income in the
current calendar year, or be able to document their child's current participation in the free
and reduced-price lunch program or Child and Adult Care Food Program, National School
Lunch Act, United States Code, title 42, sections 1751 and 1766; the Food Distribution
Program on Indian Reservations, Food and Nutrition Act, United States Code, title 7, sections
2011-2036; Head Start under the federal Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act
of 2007; Minnesota family investment program under chapter 256J; child care assistance
programs under chapter 119B; the supplemental nutrition assistance program; or placement
in foster care under section 260C.212.new text begin Parents or guardians are not required to provide
income verification under this clause if the child is an eligible child under paragraph (b),
clause (4) or (5).
new text end

(b) An "eligible child" means a child who has not yet enrolled in kindergarten and is:

(1) at least three but not yet five years of age on September 1 of the current school year;

(2) a sibling from birth to age five of a child who has been awarded a scholarship under
this section provided the sibling attends the same program as long as funds are available;

(3) the child of a parent under age 21 who is pursuing a high school degree or a course
of study for a high school equivalency test; deleted text beginor
deleted text end

deleted text begin (4) homeless, in foster care, or in need of child protective services.
deleted text end

new text begin (4) designated as a child in need of protection or services; or
new text end

new text begin (5) designated as homeless under the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance
Act, United States Code, title 42, section 11434a.
new text end

(c) A child who has received a scholarship under this section must continue to receive
a scholarship each year until that child is eligible for kindergarten under section 120A.20
and as long as funds are available.

(d) Early learning scholarships may not be counted as earned income for the purposes
of medical assistance under chapter 256B, MinnesotaCare under chapter 256L, Minnesota
family investment program under chapter 256J, child care assistance programs under chapter
119B, or Head Start under the federal Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of
2007.

(e) A child from an adjoining state whose family resides at a Minnesota address as
assigned by the United States Postal Service, who has received developmental screening
under sections 121A.16 to 121A.19, who intends to enroll in a Minnesota school district,
and whose family meets the criteria of paragraph (a) is eligible for an early learning
scholarship under this section.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 124D.165, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Administration.

(a) The commissioner shall establish application timelines
and determine the schedule for awarding scholarships that meets operational needs of eligible
families and programs. The commissioner must give highest priority to applications from
children whodeleted text begin:deleted text endnew text begin are eligible under subdivision 2, paragraph (b), clause (3), (4), or (5).
new text end

deleted text begin (1) have a parent under age 21 who is pursuing a high school diploma or a course of
study for a high school equivalency test;
deleted text end

deleted text begin (2) are in foster care or otherwise in need of protection or services; or
deleted text end

deleted text begin (3) have experienced homelessness in the last 24 months, as defined under the federal
McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, United States Code, title 42, section 11434a.
deleted text end

The commissioner may prioritize applications on additional factors including family
income, geographic location, and whether the child's family is on a waiting list for a publicly
funded program providing early education or child care services.

(b) The commissioner shall establish a target for the average scholarship amount per
child based on the results of the rate survey conducted under section 119B.02.

(c) A four-star rated program that has children eligible for a scholarship enrolled in or
on a waiting list for a program beginning in July, August, or September may notify the
commissioner, in the form and manner prescribed by the commissioner, each year of the
program's desire to enhance program services or to serve more children than current funding
provides. The commissioner may designate a predetermined number of scholarship slots
for that program and notify the program of that number. For fiscal year 2018 and later, the
statewide amount of funding directly designated by the commissioner must not exceed the
funding directly designated for fiscal year 2017. new text beginFor fiscal year 2020 and later, the number
of scholarship slots designated for a program under this paragraph must not exceed the
number of scholarship slots designated for that program in fiscal year 2019.
new text endBeginning July
1, 2016, a school district or Head Start program qualifying under this paragraph may use
its established registration process to enroll scholarship recipients and may verify a
scholarship recipient's family income in the same manner as for other program participants.

(d) A scholarship is awarded for a 12-month period. If the scholarship recipient has not
been accepted and subsequently enrolled in a rated program within ten months of the
awarding of the scholarship, the scholarship cancels and the recipient must reapply in order
to be eligible for another scholarship. A child may not be awarded more than one scholarship
in a 12-month period.

(e) A child new text beginover the age of three new text endwho receives a scholarship deleted text beginwhodeleted text endnew text begin andnew text end has not completed
development screening under sections 121A.16 to 121A.19 must complete that screening
within 90 days of first attending an eligible program.new text begin A child who receives a scholarship
before the age of three must complete the developmental screening no later than 90 days
after the child's third birthday.
new text end

(f) For fiscal year 2017 and later, a school district or Head Start program enrolling
scholarship recipients under paragraph (c) may apply to the commissioner, in the form and
manner prescribed by the commissioner, for direct payment of state aid. Upon receipt of
the application, the commissioner must pay each program directly for each approved
scholarship recipient enrolled under paragraph (c) according to the metered payment system
or another schedule established by the commissioner.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 124D.165, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Early childhood program eligibility.

(a) In order to be eligible to accept an
early learning scholarship, a program must:

(1) participate in the quality rating and improvement system under section 124D.142;
and

(2) beginning July 1, 2020, have a three- or four-star rating in the quality rating and
improvement system.

(b) Any program accepting scholarships must use the revenue to supplement and not
supplant federal funding.

deleted text begin (c) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), all Minnesota early learning foundation scholarship
program pilot sites are eligible to accept an early learning scholarship under this section.
deleted text end

Sec. 4. new text beginAPPROPRIATIONS.
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 Department of Education for the fiscal years
designated.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Early learning scholarships. new text end

new text begin (a) For the early learning scholarship program
under Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.165:
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

new text begin (b) Up to $....... each year is for administration of this program.
new text end

new text begin (c) Any balance in the first year does not cancel but is available in the second year.
new text end