Bill Text For SB0901 - Senate Floor Version

 1|                        SENATE FLOOR VERSION                           |
  |                          February 19, 2019                            |
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 3|SENATE BILL NO. 901                  By: Treat                         |
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 7|       An Act relating to the Lindsey Nicole Henry                     |
  |       Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program;            |
 8|       amending 70 O.S. 2011, Section 13-101.2, as last                |
  |       amended by Section 1, Chapter 249, O.S.L. 2017 (70              |
 9|       O.S. Supp. 2018, Section 13-101.2), which relates to            |
  |       eligibility for the program; providing certain                  |
10|       exemption for students who are classified as homeless           |
  |       and enroll in certain school; providing for                     |
11|       calculation of scholarship if certain private school            |
  |       does not charge tuition; providing an effective date;           |
12|       and declaring an emergency.                                     |
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15|BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA:                  |
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16|    SECTION 1.     AMENDATORY     70 O.S. 2011, Section 13-101.2, as   |
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17|last amended by Section 1, Chapter 249, O.S.L. 2017 (70 O.S. Supp.     |
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18|2018, Section 13-101.2), is amended to read as follows:                |
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19|    Section 13-101.2.  A.  There is hereby created the Lindsey         |
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20|Nicole Henry Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program.      |
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21|The Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships for Students with Disabilities   |
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22|Program is established to provide a scholarship to a private school    |
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23|of choice for students with disabilities for whom an individualized    |
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24|education program (IEP) in accordance with the Individuals with        |
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 1|Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or an individualized service plan    |
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 2|pursuant to Section 1-4-704 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes      |
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 3|has been developed at any time prior to notifying the State            |
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 4|Department of Education of the intent to participate in the Program    |
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 5|and the IEP is in effect at the time the request for a scholarship     |
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 6|is received by the State Department of Education.  Scholarships        |
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 7|shall be awarded beginning with the 2010-2011 school year.             |
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 8|    B.  The parent or legal guardian of a public school student with   |
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 9|a disability may exercise their parental option and request to have    |
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10|a Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship awarded for the child to enroll     |
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11|in and attend a private school in accordance with this section and     |
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12|the scholarship shall be awarded if:                                   |
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13|    1.  The student has spent the prior school year in attendance at   |
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14|a public school in this state.  For purposes of this section, "prior   |
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15|school year in attendance" means that the student was enrolled in      |
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16|and reported by a school district for funding purposes during the      |
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17|preceding school year regardless of whether or not the student had     |
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18|an IEP at the time the student was counted for funding purposes.  A    |
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19|Students who meet the following criteria shall be exempt from the      |
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20|requirements of this paragraph but shall be required to meet all       |
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21|other eligibility requirements to participate as provided for in       |
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22|this section:                                                          |
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23|         a.    a student who is a child of a member of the United      |
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24|              States Armed Forces who transfers to a school in this    |
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 1|              state from out of state or from a foreign country        |
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 2|              pursuant to a permanent change of station orders of      |
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 3|              the parent shall be exempt from the requirements of      |
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 4|              this paragraph but shall be required to meet all other   |
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 5|              eligibility requirements to participate as provided      |
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 6|              for in this section.  A,                                 |
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 7|         b.    a student who has been provided services under an       |
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 8|              Individual Family Service Plan through the SoonerStart   |
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 9|              program and during transition was evaluated and          |
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10|              determined to be eligible for school district services   |
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11|              shall be exempt from the requirements of this            |
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12|              paragraph but shall be required to meet all other        |
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13|              eligibility requirements to participate as provided      |
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14|              for in this section.  A,                                 |
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15|         c.    a student who was in out-of-home placement with the     |
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16|              Department of Human Services, who was adopted while in   |
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17|              the permanent custody of the Department of Human         |
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18|              Services or who was in out-of-home placement with the    |
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19|              Office of Juvenile Affairs shall be exempt from the      |
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20|              requirements of this paragraph but shall be required     |
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21|              to meet all other eligibility requirements to            |
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22|              participate as provided for in this section, and         |
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23|         d.    a student who is classified as homeless, meaning that   |
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24|              they lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime        |
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 1|              residence, and is enrolling in a school specifically     |
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 2|              designated for homeless students; and                    |
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 3|    2.  The parent or legal guardian has obtained acceptance for       |
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 4|admission of the student to a private school that is eligible for      |
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 5|the program as provided in subsection H of this section and has        |
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 6|notified the State Department of Education of the request for a        |
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 7|scholarship.  Requests to participate in the program made after        |
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 8|December 1 shall be granted, but funding for scholarships requested    |
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 9|after December 1 shall not be available until the beginning of the     |
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10|next school year.  The request shall be through a communication        |
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11|directly to the Department in a manner that creates a written or       |
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12|electronic record of the request and the date of receipt of the        |
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13|request.  The Department shall notify the school district upon         |
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14|receipt of the request.  For purposes of continuity of educational     |
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15|choice, the scholarship shall remain in force until the student        |
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16|returns to a public school, graduates from high school or reaches      |
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17|the age of twenty-two (22), whichever occurs first.  At any time,      |
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18|the parent or legal guardian of the student may remove the student     |
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19|from the private school and place the student in another private       |
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20|school that is eligible for the program as provided in subsection H    |
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21|of this section or place the student in a public school.               |
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22|    C.  A student shall be eligible for a scholarship if the parent    |
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23|or legal guardian of the student made a request for a scholarship      |
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24|for the 2010-2011 school year and the student transferred to an        |
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arsid2762166 SENATE FLOOR VERSION - SB901 SFLR                     Page 4
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 1|eligible private school but was subsequently denied a scholarship      |
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 2|because the student did not have an IEP in effect on October 1,        |
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 3|2009, but did meet all other eligibility requirements as set forth     |
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 4|in the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships for Students with             |
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 5|Disabilities Program Act.                                              |
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 6|    D.  A student shall not be eligible for a Lindsey Nicole Henry     |
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 7|Scholarship if the student is not having regular and direct contact    |
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 8|with the private school teachers at the physical location of the       |
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 9|private school.                                                        |
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10|    E.  School districts shall notify the parent or legal guardian     |
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11|of a public school student with a disability of all options            |
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12|available pursuant to this section and inform the parent or legal      |
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13|guardian of the availability of information about the program from     |
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14|the State Department of Education through the toll-free telephone      |
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15|number or website.  The notification shall be provided with or         |
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16|included in the copy of the "Parents Rights in Special Education:      |
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17|Notice of Procedural Safeguards" document given to parents at least    |
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18|annually or as otherwise required by law.                              |
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19|    F.  1.  Acceptance of a Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship shall     |
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20|have the same effect as a parental revocation of consent to service    |
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21|pursuant to 20 U.S.C., Sections 1414(a)(1)(D) and 1414(C) of the       |
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22|IDEA.                                                                  |
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23|    2.  Upon acceptance of a Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship, the     |
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24|parent or legal guardian shall assume full financial responsibility    |
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 1|for the education of the student, including but not limited to         |
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 2|transportation to and from the private school.                         |
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 3|    G.  If the parent or legal guardian requests a Lindsey Nicole      |
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 4|Henry Scholarship and the student is accepted by the private school    |
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 5|pending the availability of a space for the student, the parent or     |
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 6|legal guardian of the student shall notify the State Department of     |
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 7|Education before entering the private school and before December 1     |
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 8|in order to be eligible for the scholarship during the school year     |
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 9|when a space becomes available for the student in the private          |
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10|school.  If notification is made after December 1, payment of the      |
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11|scholarship shall not begin until the next school year.                |
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12|    H.  To be eligible to participate in the Lindsey Nicole Henry      |
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13|Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program, a private         |
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14|school shall notify the State Department of Education of its intent    |
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15|to participate.  The notice shall specify the grade levels and         |
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16|services that the private school has available for students with       |
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17|disabilities who are participating in the scholarship program.  The    |
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18|State Department of Education shall approve a private school as        |
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19|eligible to participate in the scholarship program upon                |
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20|determination that the private school:                                 |
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21|    1.  Meets the accreditation requirements set by the State Board    |
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22|of Education or another accrediting association approved by the        |
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23|State Board of Education;                                              |
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 1|    2.  Demonstrates fiscal soundness by having been in operation      |
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 2|for one (1) school year or providing the State Department of           |
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 3|Education with a statement by a certified public accountant            |
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 4|confirming that the private school desiring to participate is          |
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 5|insured and the owner or owners have sufficient capital or credit to   |
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 6|operate the school for the upcoming year by serving the number of      |
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 7|students anticipated with expected revenues from tuition and other     |
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 8|sources that may be reasonably expected.  In lieu of a statement, a    |
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 9|surety bond or letter of credit for the amount equal to the            |
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10|scholarship funds for any quarter may be filed with the Department;    |
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11|    3.  Complies with the antidiscrimination provisions of 42          |
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12|U.S.C., Section 2000d;                                                 |
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13|    4.  Meets state and local health and safety laws and codes;        |
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14|    5.  Will be academically accountable to the parent or legal        |
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15|guardian for meeting the educational needs of the student;             |
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16|    6.  Employs or contracts with teachers who hold baccalaureate or   |
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17|higher degrees, or have at least three (3) years of teaching           |
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18|experience in public or private schools, or have special skills,       |
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19|knowledge, or expertise that qualifies them to provide instruction     |
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20|in subjects taught;                                                    |
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21|    7.  Complies with all state laws relating to general regulation    |
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22|of private schools; and                                                |
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23|    8.  Adheres to the tenets of its published disciplinary            |
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24|procedures prior to the expulsion of a scholarship student.            |
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 1|    I.  1.  Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship Program participants      |
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 2|shall comply with the following:                                       |
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 3|         a.        the parent or legal guardian shall select the       |
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 4|              private school from the schools approved for             |
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 5|              eligibility pursuant to subsection H of this section     |
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 6|              and apply for the admission of the child,                |
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 7|         b.        the parent or legal guardian shall request the      |
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 8|              scholarship no later than December 1 of the school       |
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 9|              year during which the scholarship is requested,          |
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10|         c.        any student participating in the scholarship        |
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11|              program shall attend throughout the school year,         |
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12|              unless excused by the school for illness or other good   |
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13|              cause, and shall comply fully with the code of conduct   |
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14|              for the school,                                          |
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15|         d.        the parent or legal guardian shall fully comply     |
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16|              with the parental involvement requirements of the        |
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17|              private school, unless excused by the school for         |
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18|              illness or other good cause, and                         |
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19|         e.        upon issuance of a scholarship warrant, the         |
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20|              parent or legal guardian to whom the warrant is made     |
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21|              shall restrictively endorse the warrant to the private   |
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22|              school for deposit into the account of the private       |
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23|              school.  The parent or legal guardian may not            |
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24|              designate any entity or individual associated with the   |
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 1|              private school as the attorney in fact for the parent    |
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 2|              or legal guardian to endorse a warrant.  A parent or     |
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 3|              legal guardian who fails to comply with this             |
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 4|              subparagraph shall forfeit the scholarship.              |
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 5|    2.  A participant who fails to comply with this subsection         |
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 6|forfeits the scholarship.                                              |
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 7|    J.  Provisions governing payment of a Lindsey Nicole Henry         |
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 8|Scholarship shall be as follows:                                       |
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 9|    1.  The State Department of Education shall calculate the total    |
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10|cost of all scholarships for all eligible students in the state.       |
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11|The State Department of Education shall then reserve or retain from    |
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12|the total amount appropriated to the State Board of Education for      |
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13|State Aid purposes and any other revenue available for allocation      |
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14|for State Aid purposes the total cost for all scholarship payments;    |
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15|    2.  The maximum scholarship granted for an eligible student with   |
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16|disabilities shall be a calculated amount equivalent to the total      |
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17|State Aid factors for the applicable school year multiplied by the     |
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18|grade and disability weights generated by that student for the         |
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19|applicable school year.  The disability weights used in calculating    |
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20|the scholarship amount shall include all disability weights which      |
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21|correspond to the disabilities included in the multidisciplinary       |
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22|evaluation and eligibility group summary for the student at the time   |
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23|the request for a scholarship is made by the parent or legal           |
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24|guardian.  The maximum scholarship amount shall be calculated by the   |
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 1|State Board of Education for each year the student is participating    |
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 2|in the scholarship program;                                            |
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 3|    3.  The amount of the scholarship shall be the amount calculated   |
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 4|in paragraph 2 of this subsection or the amount of tuition and fees    |
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 5|for the private school, whichever is less, minus up to two and         |
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 6|one-half percent (2 1/2%) of the scholarship amount which may be       |
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 7|retained by the State Department of Education as a fee for             |
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 8|administrative services rendered.  If a private school does not        |
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 9|charge tuition, the amount of the scholarship shall be the amount      |
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10|calculated in paragraph 2 of this subsection minus up to two and       |
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11|one-half percent (2 1/2%) of the scholarship amount which may be       |
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12|retained by the State Department of Education as a fee for             |
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13|administrative services rendered.  The amount of any assessment fee    |
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14|required by the private school and the amount associated with          |
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15|providing services and therapies to address the disabilities of the    |
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16|student may be paid from the total amount of the scholarship.  The     |
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17|amount of the scholarship shall be prorated to reflect the number of   |
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18|days remaining in the current school year, if the scholarship          |
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19|request is granted after the beginning of the school year;             |
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20|    4.  The State Department of Education shall notify the private     |
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21|school of the amount of the scholarship within ten (10) days after     |
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22|receiving the request for a scholarship, when the total State Aid      |
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23|factors have been determined for the current fiscal year.  The         |
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24|initial payment shall be made after the Department verifies            |
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 1|admission acceptance and enrollment.  Quarterly payments shall be      |
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 2|made upon verification of continued enrollment and attendance at the   |
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 3|private school.  Payment shall be made by the Department with an       |
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 4|individual warrant made payable to the parent or legal guardian of     |
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 5|the student and mailed by the Department to the private school that    |
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 6|the parent or legal guardian chooses.  The parent or legal guardian    |
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 7|shall restrictively endorse the warrant to the private school for      |
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 8|deposit into the account of the private school;                        |
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 9|    5.  The State Department of Education shall not be responsible     |
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10|for any additional costs associated with special education and         |
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11|related services incurred by the private school for the student        |
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12|including the cost of teachers, equipment, material, and special       |
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13|costs associated with the special education class;                     |
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14|    6.  The State Department of Education shall establish a            |
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15|toll-free telephone number or website that provides parents or legal   |
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16|guardians and private schools with information about the program;      |
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17|    7.  The State Department of Education shall require an annual,     |
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18|notarized, sworn compliance statement by participating private         |
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19|schools certifying compliance with state laws and shall retain all     |
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20|records received from a participating private school; and              |
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21|    8.  The State Department of Education shall cross-check the list   |
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22|of participating scholarship students with the public school           |
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23|enrollments prior to each scholarship payment to avoid duplication.    |
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24|                                                                       |
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 1|    K.  1.  The State Superintendent of Public Instruction shall       |
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 2|deny, suspend, or revoke the participation of a private school in      |
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 3|the scholarship program if it is determined that the private school    |
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 4|has failed to comply with the provisions of this section.  However,    |
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 5|in instances in which the noncompliance is correctable within a        |
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 6|reasonable amount of time and in which the health, safety, or          |
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 7|welfare of the students is not threatened, the Superintendent may      |
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 8|issue a notice of noncompliance which shall provide the private        |
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 9|school with a time frame within which to provide evidence of           |
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10|compliance prior to taking action to suspend or revoke participation   |
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11|in the scholarship program.                                            |
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12|    2.  If the Superintendent intends to deny, suspend, or revoke      |
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13|the participation of a private school in the scholarship program,      |
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14|the Department shall notify the private school of the proposed         |
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15|action in writing by certified mail and regular mail to the private    |
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16|school's address of record with the Department.  The Department        |
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17|shall also notify any parents or legal guardians of scholarship        |
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18|students attending the private school.  The notification shall         |
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19|include the reasons for the proposed action and notice of the          |
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20|timelines and procedures set forth in this subsection.                 |
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21|    3.  The private school that is adversely affected by the           |
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22|proposed action shall have fifteen (15) days from receipt of the       |
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23|notice of proposed action to file with the Department a request for    |
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24|                                                                       |
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 1|an administrative hearing proceeding pursuant to the Administrative    |
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 2|Procedures Act.                                                        |
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 3|    4.  Upon receipt of a request for a hearing, the State Board of    |
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 4|Education shall commence a hearing within sixty (60) days after the    |
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 5|receipt of the formal written request and enter an order within        |
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 6|thirty (30) days after the hearing.                                    |
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 7|    5.  The Board may immediately suspend payment of scholarship       |
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 8|funds if it is determined that there is probable cause to believe      |
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 9|that there is an imminent threat to the health, safety, or welfare     |
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10|of the students or fraudulent activity on the part of the private      |
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11|school.                                                                |
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12|    L.  No liability shall arise on the part of the state, the State   |
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13|Board of Education, the State Department of Education or a school      |
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14|district based on the award or use of any scholarship provided         |
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15|through the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships for Students with        |
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16|Disabilities Program.                                                  |
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17|    M.  The inclusion of private schools within options available to   |
  |                                                                       |
18|public school students in Oklahoma shall not expand the regulatory     |
  |                                                                       |
19|authority of the state or any school district to impose any            |
  |                                                                       |
20|additional regulation of private schools beyond those reasonably       |
  |                                                                       |
21|necessary to enforce the requirements expressly set forth in this      |
  |                                                                       |
22|section.                                                               |
  |                                                                       |
23|    N.  If the State Department of Education determines that a         |
  |                                                                       |
24|school district prior to the effective date of this act has failed     |
  |                                                                       |
arsid2762166 SENATE FLOOR VERSION - SB901 SFLR                     Page 13
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 1|to comply with the provisions of the Lindsey Nicole Henry              |
  |                                                                       |
 2|Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program Act and has        |
  |                                                                       |
 3|failed to make full or partial scholarship payments for eligible       |
  |                                                                       |
 4|students, the Department shall have authority to reduce the amount     |
  |                                                                       |
 5|of State Aid allocated to the school district or require the school    |
  |                                                                       |
 6|district to make repayment to the Department of State Aid              |
  |                                                                       |
 7|allocations in an amount equal to the amount of scholarship payments   |
  |                                                                       |
 8|the school district failed to make.  The Department shall make         |
  |                                                                       |
 9|payment to the parent or legal guardian in the amount the school       |
  |                                                                       |
10|district failed to make in the manner as provided for in subsection    |
  |                                                                       |
11|J of this section.                                                     |
  |                                                                       |
12|    SECTION 2.  This act shall become effective July 1, 2019.          |
  |                                                                       |
13|    SECTION 3.  It being immediately necessary for the preservation    |
  |                                                                       |
14|of the public peace, health or safety, an emergency is hereby          |
  |                                                                       |
15|declared to exist, by reason whereof this act shall take effect and    |
  |                                                                       |
16|be in full force from and after its passage and approval.              |
  |                                                                       |
17|COMMITTEE REPORT BY: COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION                            |
  |February 19, 2019 - DO PASS and referred to second committee,          |
18|withdrawn from APPROPRIATIONS, February 27, 2019                       |
  |                                                                       |
19|                                                                       |
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20|                                                                       |
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21|                                                                       |
  |                                                                       |
22|                                                                       |
  |                                                                       |
23|                                                                       |
  |                                                                       |
24|                                                                       |
  |                                                                       |
arsid2762166 SENATE FLOOR VERSION - SB901 SFLR                     Page 14
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