Current Status Introducing Body:
SenateBill Number: 908Primary Sponsor: RoseCommittee Number: 04Type of Legislation: GBSubject: Parental Choice in Education ActResiding Body: SenateCurrent Committee: EducationCompanion Bill Number: 3881Computer Document Number: BR1/1582.ACIntroduced Date: Apr 18, 1991Last History Body: SenateLast History Date: Apr 18, 1991Last History Type: Introduced, read first time, referred to CommitteeScope of Legislation: StatewideAll Sponsors: RoseType of Legislation: General Bill
Bill Body Date Action Description CMN ---- ------ ------------ ------------------------------ --- 908 Senate Apr 18, 1991 Introduced, read first time, 04 referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
TO AMEND TITLE 59, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO EDUCATION, BY ADDING CHAPTER 70 SO AS TO ENACT THE PARENTAL CHOICE IN EDUCATION ACT AUTHORIZING A STUDENT TO ATTEND A PUBLIC OR PRIVATE SCHOOL IN A DISTRICT OTHER THAN THE ONE IN WHICH HE RESIDES UNDER CERTAIN RESTRICTIONS, CONDITIONS, AND LIMITATIONS.
Whereas, it is the purpose of this act to maintain and improve the quality of elementary and secondary education in the State by providing parents an enhanced opportunity for the exercise of parental choice in the education of their school-age children. Now, therefore,
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Title 59 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 59-70-10. This chapter may be cited as the `Parental Choice in Education Act'.
Section 59-70-20. As used in this chapter:
(1) `At-risk student' means a student who, based on certain criteria for assessing students, is considered to be a potential dropout from school.
(2) `Parent' means the natural or adoptive parent or legal guardian of a dependent child.
(3) `Participating school' means a public or private school located in the State that enters into an agreement with the State Department of Education in accordance with this chapter.
(4) `Private school' means a school that is not maintained with public funds, that charges tuition or fees for the services it provides, and that is in compliance with the laws of this State.
(5) `Public school' means a school operated by publicly elected or appointed school officials in which the program and activities are under the control of these officials and which is supported by public funds.
(6) `Resident school district' means a geographical area surrounding a public school from which students are assigned.
(7) `School' means a school that is authorized to provide elementary or secondary education, or both, under state law.
Section 59-70-30. In order to achieve the purpose of this chapter, the State Board of Education shall develop and the State Department of Education shall carry out a program in which the parent of each school-age child receives from the district school board, on request, a certificate that may be used for educational services at a participating school selected by the child's parent in accordance with this chapter.
Section 59-70-40. (A) Each public school in the State shall become a participating school. The responsible officials for each private school shall decide whether that school shall become a participating school.
(B) Subject to the provisions of subsection (C), a participating school shall admit children with certificates who apply, up to the limit of the school's capacity, after reserving places for children admitted in accordance with the school's regular admissions practices.
(C)(1) A participating school shall establish criteria for the admission of children with certificates consistent with the admissions criteria it regularly applies.
(2) In the case of a participating public school, the district school board shall establish criteria for the equitable allocation of places for children with certificates if there are insufficient places to serve all children requesting places.
Section 59-70-50. A participating school shall enter into an agreement with the State Department of Education. The agreement must provide that the participating school furnish a child an education equivalent to that provided to all other children in the school when a child tenders a certificate in accordance with this chapter, is accepted at the school and, if applicable, pays a supplementary tuition to satisfy any remainder of a participating school's tuition.
Section 59-70-60. A parent of a child with a certificate may use the certificate for educational services at a participating school only if the child is admitted to the participating school.
Section 59-70-70. The value of a certificate must be set at one hundred percent of the pupil expenditure supplied by the State based upon the Education Finance Act weighting, but no certificate may be redeemed for more than the amount of the tuition and fees regularly charged by the participating school providing the educational services.
Section 59-70-80. (A) The purpose of this section is to grant at-risk students an equal opportunity of educational choices by making private schools a feasible option.
(B) A student in grades one through twelve who is considered an at-risk student pursuant to criteria established by the National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson University is an eligible high risk student, entitled to the enhanced tuition allowances set forth in Section 59-70-90(F).
Section 59-70-90. (A) A parent of a child with a certificate shall present the certificate to the participating school that the child attends. The participating school shall present the certificate for payment or redemption to the district school board.
(B) A participating public school shall receive funds equal to the full value of a certificate for each certificate presented by the respective participating public school in addition to its regular budget.
(C) A participating public school shall lose funds equal to the full value of a certificate for each resident school district student who transfers from the respective participating public school.
(D) A participating private school shall receive funds equal to a percentage of the full value of a certificate, in accordance with this subsection, for each certificate presented by the respective participating private school.
(E) For the first school year, beginning in 1992, a participating private school shall receive sixty percent of the value of a certificate as established in Section 59-70-70, for each certificate presented by the respective participating private school. Each subsequent school year, the percentage of the value of a certificate received by a participating private school increases ten percent until the percentage equals one hundred percent.
(F) Beginning with the 1992 school year and for all subsequent school years, a participating private school shall receive one hundred twenty-five percent of the value of a certificate as established in Section 59-70-70, for the redemption of each certificate tendered by an eligible at-risk student.
Section 59-70-100. (A) A participating school shall provide assurance to the district school board that it is in compliance with appropriate requirements prohibiting discrimination.
(B) A participating school shall publish or otherwise make available information regarding:
(1) participation in the certificate program;
(2) program of instruction;
(3) achievement data regarding students attending the school, which may be stated in the aggregate;
(4) incidence of drug abuse;
(5) school discipline and safety; and
(6) other matters that may be specified in regulations of the State Board of Education.
Section 59-70-110. A participating school may not be obligated to provide transportation for a child residing outside of the participating school's resident school district. However, the school may provide transportation as a service.
Section 59-70-120. To assist parents and students in making educational choices permitted under this chapter, the State Department of Education must publish and make available a list of the participating schools and a Parent Information Center must be established in the department or in the Office of Accountability. This center shall collect comprehensive information on each school district and must provide and use this information in counseling and assisting parents in choosing the most appropriate school for their children.
Section 59-70-130. The State Board of Education shall promulgate regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect July 1, 1991.