Section 3313.978 | Implementation of program.
(A) Annually by the first day of November, the superintendent of public instruction shall notify the pilot project school district of the number of initial scholarships that the state superintendent will be awarding in each of grades kindergarten through twelve.
The state superintendent shall provide information about the scholarship program to all students residing in the district, shall accept applications from any such students during the application periods established under division (H) of this section, and shall establish criteria for the selection of students to receive scholarships from among all those applying prior to the deadline, which criteria shall give preference to students from low-income families. The state superintendent shall notify students of their selection prior to a date established by the state superintendent.
(1) A student receiving a pilot project scholarship may utilize it at an alternative public school by notifying the district superintendent, at any time before the beginning of the school year, of the name of the public school in an adjacent school district to which the student has been accepted pursuant to section 3327.06 of the Revised Code.
(2) A student may decide to utilize a pilot project scholarship at a registered private school in the district if all of the following conditions are met:
(a) By the fifteenth day of February of the preceding school year, or at any time prior to the start of the school year, the parent makes an application on behalf of the student to a registered private school.
(b) The registered private school notifies the parent and the state superintendent as follows that the student has been admitted:
(i) By the fifteenth day of March of the preceding school year if the student filed an application by the fifteenth day of February and was admitted by the school pursuant to division (A) of section 3313.977 of the Revised Code;
(ii) Within one week of the decision to admit the student if the student is admitted pursuant to division (C) of section 3313.977 of the Revised Code.
(c) The student actually enrolls in the registered private school to which the student was first admitted or in another registered private school in the district or in a public school in an adjacent school district.
(B) The state superintendent shall also award in any school year tutorial assistance grants to a number of students equal to the number of students who receive scholarships under division (A) of this section. Tutorial assistance grants shall be awarded solely to students who are enrolled in the public schools of the district in a grade level covered by the pilot project. Tutorial assistance grants may be used solely to obtain tutorial assistance from a provider approved pursuant to division (D) of section 3313.976 of the Revised Code.
All students wishing to obtain tutorial assistance grants shall make application to the state superintendent by the first day of the school year in which the assistance will be used. The state superintendent shall award assistance grants in accordance with criteria the superintendent shall establish.
(C)(1) In the case of basic scholarships for students in grades kindergarten through eight, the scholarship amount shall not exceed the lesser of the net tuition charges of the alternative school the scholarship recipient attends or four thousand six hundred fifty dollars.
In the case of basic scholarships for students in grades nine through twelve, the scholarship amount shall not exceed the lesser of the net tuition charges of the alternative school the scholarship recipient attends or six thousand dollars.
The net tuition and fees charged to a student shall be the tuition amount specified by the alternative school minus all other financial aid, discounts, and adjustments received for the student. In cases where discounts are offered for multiple students from the same family, and not all students in the same family are scholarship recipients, the net tuition amount attributable to the scholarship recipient shall be the lowest net tuition to which the family is entitled.
(2) The state superintendent shall provide for an increase in the basic scholarship amount in the case of any student who is a mainstreamed student with a disability and shall further increase such amount in the case of any separately educated student with a disability. Such increases shall take into account the instruction, related services, and transportation costs of educating such students.
(3) In the case of tutorial assistance grants, the grant amount shall not exceed the lesser of the provider's actual charges for such assistance or:
(a) Before fiscal year 2007, a percentage established by the state superintendent, not to exceed twenty per cent, of the amount of the pilot project school district's average basic scholarship amount;
(b) In fiscal year 2007 and thereafter, four hundred dollars.
(D)(1) Annually by the first day of November, the state superintendent shall estimate the maximum per-pupil scholarship amounts for the ensuing school year. The state superintendent shall make this estimate available to the general public at the offices of the district board of education together with the forms required by division (D)(2) of this section.
(2) Annually by the fifteenth day of January, the chief administrator of each registered private school located in the pilot project district and the principal of each public school in such district shall complete a parental information form and forward it to the president of the board of education. The parental information form shall be prescribed by the department of education and shall provide information about the grade levels offered, the numbers of students, tuition amounts, achievement test results, and any sectarian or other organizational affiliations.
(E)(1) Only for the purpose of administering the pilot project scholarship program, the department may request from any of the following entities the data verification code assigned under division (D)(2) of section 3301.0714 of the Revised Code to any student who is seeking a scholarship under the program:
(b) If applicable, the community school in which the student is enrolled;
(c) The independent contractor engaged to create and maintain data verification codes.
(2) Upon a request by the department under division (E)(1) of this section for the data verification code of a student seeking a scholarship or a request by the student's parent for that code, the school district or community school shall submit that code to the department or parent in the manner specified by the department. If the student has not been assigned a code, because the student will be entering kindergarten during the school year for which the scholarship is sought, the district shall assign a code to that student and submit the code to the department or parent by a date specified by the department. If the district does not assign a code to the student by the specified date, the department shall assign a code to the student.
The department annually shall submit to each school district the name and data verification code of each student residing in the district who is entering kindergarten, who has been awarded a scholarship under the program, and for whom the department has assigned a code under this division.
(3) The department shall not release any data verification code that it receives under division (E) of this section to any person except as provided by law.
(F) Any document relative to the pilot project scholarship program that the department holds in its files that contains both a student's name or other personally identifiable information and the student's data verification code shall not be a public record under section 149.43 of the Revised Code.
(G)(1) The department annually shall compile the scores attained by scholarship students enrolled in registered private schools on the assessments administered to the students pursuant to division (A)(11) of section 3313.976 of the Revised Code. The scores shall be aggregated as follows:
(a) By school district, which shall include all scholarship students residing in the pilot project school district who are enrolled in a registered private school and were required to take an assessment pursuant to division (A)(11) of section 3313.976 of the Revised Code;
(b) By registered private school, which shall include all scholarship students enrolled in that school who were required to take an assessment pursuant to division (A)(11) of section 3313.976 of the Revised Code.
(2) The department shall disaggregate the student performance data described in division (G)(1) of this section according to the following categories:
(a) Grade level;
(b) Race and ethnicity;
(d) Students who have participated in the scholarship program for three or more years;
(e) Students who have participated in the scholarship program for more than one year and less than three years;
(f) Students who have participated in the scholarship program for one year or less;
(g) Economically disadvantaged students.
(3) The department shall post the student performance data required under divisions (G)(1) and (2) of this section on its web site and shall include that data in the information about the scholarship program provided to students under division (A) of this section. In reporting student performance data under this division, the department shall not include any data that is statistically unreliable or that could result in the identification of individual students. For this purpose, the department shall not report performance data for any group that contains less than ten students.
(4) The department shall provide the parent of each scholarship student enrolled in a registered private school with information comparing the student's performance on the assessments administered pursuant to division (A)(11) of section 3313.976 of the Revised Code with the average performance of similar students enrolled in the building operated by the pilot project school district that the scholarship student would otherwise attend. In calculating the performance of similar students, the department shall consider age, grade, race and ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status.
(H)(1) Except as provided in division (H)(2) of this section, for scholarships awarded the 2020-2021 school year and for each school year thereafter, the department shall conduct two application periods each year for the pilot project scholarship program, as follows:
(a) The first application period shall open not sooner than the first day of February prior to the first day of July of the school year for which a scholarship is sought and run not less than seventy-five days.
(b) The second application period shall open not sooner than the first day of July of the school year for which the scholarship is sought and run not less than thirty days.
(2) If the pilot scholarships awarded in the first application period for any school year use the entirety of the amount appropriated by the general assembly for such scholarships for that school year, the department need not conduct a second application period for scholarships. If, after the first application period, there are funds remaining to award, the department shall conduct a second application period in accordance with division (H)(1)(b) of this section.
(3) Not later than the thirty-first day of May of each school year, the department shall determine whether funds remain available for scholarships under the pilot project scholarship program after the first application period.
(4) For scholarships awarded for any school year prior to the 2020-2021 school year, the state superintendent shall establish a deadline for a single application period.
Available Versions of this Section
- September 29, 2013 – House Bill 59, 130th General Assembly [ View September 29, 2013 Version ]
- September 29, 2017 – Amended by House Bill 49, 132nd General Assembly [ View September 29, 2017 Version ]
- October 17, 2019 – Amended by House Bill 166, 133rd General Assembly [ View October 17, 2019 Version ]