Section 3313.975 | Pilot project scholarship program.
As used in this section and in sections 3313.976 to 3313.979 of the Revised Code, "the pilot project school district" or "the district" means any school district included in the pilot project scholarship program pursuant to this section.
(A) The superintendent of public instruction shall establish a pilot project scholarship program and shall include in such program any school districts that are or have ever been under federal court order requiring supervision and operational management of the district by the state superintendent. The program shall provide for a number of students residing in any such district to receive scholarships to attend alternative schools, and for an equal number of students to receive tutorial assistance grants while attending public school in any such district.
(B) The state superintendent shall establish an application process and deadline for accepting applications from students residing in the district to participate in the scholarship program. In the initial year of the program students may only use a scholarship to attend school in grades kindergarten through third.
The state superintendent shall award as many scholarships and tutorial assistance grants as can be funded given the amount appropriated for the program. In no case, however, shall more than fifty per cent of all scholarships awarded be used by students who were enrolled in a nonpublic school during the school year of application for a scholarship.
(C)(1) The pilot project program shall continue in effect each year that the general assembly has appropriated sufficient money to fund scholarships and tutorial assistance grants. In each year the program continues, new students may receive scholarships in grades kindergarten to twelve. A student who has received a scholarship may continue to receive one until the student has completed grade twelve.
(2) If the general assembly discontinues the scholarship program, all students who are attending an alternative school under the pilot project shall be entitled to continued admittance to that specific school through all grades that are provided in such school, under the same conditions as when they were participating in the pilot project. The state superintendent shall continue to make scholarship payments in accordance with division (A) or (B) of section 3313.979 of the Revised Code for students who remain enrolled in an alternative school under this provision in any year that funds have been appropriated for this purpose.
If funds are not appropriated, the tuition charged to the parents of a student who remains enrolled in an alternative school under this provision shall not be increased beyond the amount equal to the amount of the scholarship plus any additional amount charged that student's parent in the most recent year of attendance as a participant in the pilot project, except that tuition for all the students enrolled in such school may be increased by the same percentage.
(D) Notwithstanding sections 124.39 and 3311.83 of the Revised Code, if the pilot project school district experiences a decrease in enrollment due to participation in a state-sponsored scholarship program pursuant to sections 3313.974 to 3313.979 of the Revised Code, the district board of education may enter into an agreement with any teacher it employs to provide to that teacher severance pay or early retirement incentives, or both, if the teacher agrees to terminate the employment contract with the district board, provided any collective bargaining agreement in force pursuant to Chapter 4117. of the Revised Code does not prohibit such an agreement for termination of a teacher's employment contract.