S. 206 (112th): Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act of 2011

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Jan 26, 2011 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

II

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 206

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

January 26, 2011

(for himself, Ms. Collins, Mrs. Feinstein, Mr. Alexander, and Mr. Ensign) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

A BILL

To reauthorize the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act of 2011 or the SOAR Act.

2.

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

Parents are best equipped to make decisions for their children, including the educational setting that will best serve the interests and educational needs of their child.

(2)

For many parents in the District of Columbia, public school choice provided under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, as well as under other public school choice programs, is inadequate. More educational options are needed to ensure all families in the District of Columbia have access to a quality education. In particular, funds are needed to provide low-income parents with enhanced public opportunities and private educational environments, regardless of whether such environments are secular or nonsecular.

(3)

While the per-student cost for students in the public schools of the District of Columbia is one of the highest in the United States, test scores for such students continue to be among the lowest in the Nation. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), an annual report released by the National Center for Education Statistics, reported in its 2009 study that students in the District of Columbia were being outperformed by every State in the Nation. On the 2009 NAEP, 56 percent of fourth grade students scored below basic in reading, and 44 percent scored below basic in mathematics. Among eighth grade students, 49 percent scored below basic in reading and 60 percent scored below basic in mathematics. On the 2009 NAEP reading assessment, only 17 percent of the District of Columbia fourth grade students could read proficiently, while only 13 percent of the eighth grade students scored at the proficient or advanced level.

(4)

In 2003, Congress passed the DC School Choice Incentive Act of 2003 (Public Law 108–199, 118 Stat. 126), to provide opportunity scholarships to parents of students in the District of Columbia to enable them to pursue a high quality education at a public or private elementary or secondary school of their choice. The DC opportunity scholarship program (DC OSP) under such Act was part of a comprehensive 3-part funding arrangement that also included additional funds for the District of Columbia public schools, and additional funds for public charter schools of the District of Columbia. The intent of the approach was to ensure that progress would continue to be made to improve public schools and public charter schools, and that funding for the opportunity scholarship program would not lead to a reduction in funding for the District of Columbia public and charter schools. Resources would be available for a variety of educational options that would give families in the District of Columbia a range of choices with regard to the education of their children.

(5)

The DC OSP was established in accordance with the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, 536 U.S. 639 (2002), which found that a program enacted for the valid secular purpose of providing educational assistance to low-income children in a demonstrably failing public school system is constitutional if it is neutral with respect to religion and provides assistance to a broad class of citizens who direct government aid to religious and secular schools solely as a result of their genuine and independent private choices.

(6)

Since the inception of the DC OSP, it has consistently been oversubscribed. Parents express strong support for the opportunity scholarship program. Rigorous studies of the program by the Institute of Education Sciences have shown significant improvements in parental satisfaction and in reading scores that are more dramatic when only those students consistently using the scholarships are considered. The program also was found to result in significantly higher graduation rates for DC OSP students.

(7)

The DC OSP is a program that offers families in need, in the District of Columbia, important alternatives while public schools are improved. This program should be reauthorized as 1 part of a 3-part comprehensive funding strategy for the District of Columbia school system that provides new and equal funding for public schools, public charter schools, and opportunity scholarships for students to attend private schools.

3.

Purpose

The purpose of this Act is to provide low-income parents residing in the District of Columbia, particularly parents of students who attend elementary schools or secondary schools identified for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring under section 1116 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6316), with expanded opportunities for enrolling their children in other schools in the District of Columbia, at least until the public schools in the District of Columbia have adequately addressed shortfalls in health, safety, and security, and the students in the District of Columbia public schools are testing in mathematics and reading at or above the national average.

4.

General authority

(a)

Authority

From amounts made available to carry out this section in accordance with section 14(b)(1), the Secretary shall award grants on a competitive basis to eligible entities with approved applications under section 5 to carry out a program to provide eligible students with expanded school choice opportunities. The Secretary may award a single grant or multiple grants, depending on the quality of applications submitted and the priorities of this Act.

(b)

Duration of grants

The Secretary shall make grants under this section for a period of not more than 5 years.

(c)

Memorandum of understanding

(1)

In general

The Secretary and the Mayor of the District of Columbia shall enter into a memorandum of understanding regarding the implementation of the program authorized under subsection (a) and the funding described in paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 14(b).

(2)

Contents

The memorandum of understanding shall address how the Mayor of the District of Columbia will ensure that the public schools and the public charter schools of the District of Columbia comply with all reasonable requests for information as necessary to fulfill the requirements for evaluations conducted under section 9.

(d)

Special rules

(1)

Use of funds

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, funds appropriated for the DC opportunity scholarship program under the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 (Public Law 111–8, 123 Stat. 654), the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 (Public Law 111–117, 123 Stat. 3181), or any other Act, shall be available until expended and may be used to provide opportunity scholarships under section 7 to new applicants.

(2)

Repeal of site inspection and reporting requirements

The fourth and fifth provisos under the heading Federal Payment for School Improvement of title IV of Division C of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 (Public Law 111–117, 123 Stat. 3182) are repealed. Any unobligated amounts reserved to carry out such provisos shall be made available to an eligible entity for administrative purposes or for opportunity scholarships under a grant under subsection (a), including for opportunity scholarships for new applicants for the 2011–2012 school year.

5.

Applications

(a)

In general

In order to receive a grant under section 4(a), an eligible entity shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and accompanied by such information as the Secretary may require.

(b)

Contents

The Secretary may not approve the request of an eligible entity for a grant under section 4(a) unless the entity’s application includes—

(1)

a detailed description of—

(A)

how the entity will address the priorities described in section 6;

(B)

how the entity will ensure that if more eligible students seek admission in the program than the program can accommodate, eligible students are selected for admission through a random selection process which gives weight to the priorities described in section 6;

(C)

how the entity will ensure that if more participating eligible students seek admission to a participating school than the school can accommodate, participating eligible students are selected for admission through a random selection process;

(D)

how the entity will notify parents of eligible students of the expanded choice opportunities in order to allow the parents to make informed decisions;

(E)

the activities that the entity will carry out to provide parents of eligible students with expanded choice opportunities through the awarding of scholarships under section 7(a);

(F)

how the entity will determine the amount that will be provided to parents for the tuition, fees, and transportation expenses, if any;

(G)

how the entity will—

(i)

seek out private elementary schools and secondary schools in the District of Columbia to participate in the program; and

(ii)

ensure that participating schools will meet the reporting and other requirements of this Act, and accommodate site visits in accordance with section 7(a)(4)(D);

(H)

how the entity will ensure that participating schools are financially responsible and will use the funds received under a grant under section 4(a) effectively;

(I)

how the entity will address the renewal of scholarships to participating eligible students, including continued eligibility; and

(J)

how the entity will ensure that a majority of its voting board members or governing organization are residents of the District of Columbia; and

(2)

an assurance that the entity will comply with all requests regarding any evaluation carried out under section 9.

6.

Priorities

In awarding grants under section 4(a), the Secretary shall give priority to applications from eligible entities that will most effectively—

(1)

give priority to eligible students who, in the school year preceding the school year for which the eligible student is seeking a scholarship, attended an elementary school or secondary school identified for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring under section 1116 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6316);

(2)

give priority to students whose household includes a sibling or other child who is already participating in the program of the eligible entity under section 4(a), regardless of whether such students have, in the past, been assigned as members of a control study group for the purposes of an evaluation under section 9;

(3)

target resources to students and families that lack the financial resources to take advantage of available educational options; and

(4)

provide students and families with the widest range of educational options.

7.

Use of funds

(a)

Opportunity scholarships

(1)

In general

Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), an eligible entity receiving a grant under section 4(a) shall use the grant funds to provide eligible students with opportunity scholarships to pay the tuition, fees, and transportation expenses, if any, to enable the eligible students to attend the District of Columbia private elementary school or secondary school of their choice beginning in school year 2011–2012. Each such eligible entity shall ensure that the amount of any tuition or fees charged by a school participating in such eligible entity’s program under section 4(a) to an eligible student participating in the program does not exceed the amount of tuition or fees that the school charges to students who do not participate in the program.

(2)

Payments to parents

An eligible entity receiving a grant under section 4(a) shall make scholarship payments under the program under section 4(a) to the parent of the eligible student participating in the program, in a manner which ensures that such payments will be used for the payment of tuition, fees, and transportation expenses (if any), in accordance with this Act.

(3)

Amount of assistance

(A)

Varying amounts permitted

Subject to the other requirements of this section, an eligible entity receiving a grant under section 4(a) may award scholarships in larger amounts to those eligible students with the greatest need.

(B)

Annual limit on amount

(i)

Limit for school year 2011–2012

The amount of assistance provided to any eligible student by an eligible entity under a program under section 4(a) for school year 2011–2012 may not exceed—

(I)

$8,000 for attendance in kindergarten through grade 8; and

(II)

$12,000 for attendance in grades 9 through 12.

(ii)

Cumulative inflation adjustment

The limits described in clause (i) shall apply for each school year following school year 2011–2012, except that the Secretary shall adjust the maximum amounts of assistance (as described in clause (i) and adjusted under this clause for the preceding year) for inflation, as measured by the percentage increase, if any, from the preceding fiscal year in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor.

(4)

Participating school requirements

None of the funds provided under subsection (a) for opportunity scholarships may be used by an eligible student to enroll in a participating private school unless the participating school—

(A)

has and maintains a valid certificate of occupancy issued by the District of Columbia;

(B)

makes readily available to all prospective students information on its school accreditation;

(C)

in the case of a school that has been operating for 5 years or less, submits to the eligible entity administering the program proof of adequate financial resources reflecting the financial sustainability of the school and the school’s ability to be in operation through the school year;

(D)

agrees to submit to site visits as determined to be necessary by the eligible entity, except that a participating school shall not be required to submit to more than one site visit per year;

(E)

has financial systems, controls, policies, and procedures to ensure that funds are used in accordance with the requirements of this Act; and

(F)

ensures that each teacher of core subject matter in the school has a baccalaureate degree or equivalent degree.

(b)

Administrative expenses

An eligible entity receiving a grant under section 4(a) may use not more than 3 percent of the amount provided under the grant each year for the administrative expenses of carrying out its program under such section during the year, including—

(1)

determining the eligibility of students to participate;

(2)

selecting eligible students to receive scholarships;

(3)

determining the amount of scholarships and issuing the scholarships to eligible students; and

(4)

compiling and maintaining financial and programmatic records.

(c)

Parental assistance

An eligible entity receiving a grant under section 4(a) may use not more than 2 percent of the amount provided under the grant each year for the expenses of educating parents about the program under this Act and assisting parents through the application process under this Act during the year, including—

(1)

providing information about the program and the participating schools to parents of eligible students;

(2)

providing funds to assist parents of students in meeting expenses that might otherwise preclude the participation of eligible students in the program; and

(3)

streamlining the application process for parents.

(d)

Student academic assistance

An eligible entity receiving a grant under section 4(a) may use not more than 1 percent of the amount provided under the grant each year for expenses to provide tutoring services to participating eligible students that need additional academic assistance in the students’ new schools. If there are insufficient funds to pay for these costs for all such students, the eligible entity shall give priority to students who previously attended an elementary school or secondary school that was identified for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring under section 1116 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6316) as of the time the student attended the school.

8.

Nondiscrimination

(a)

In general

An eligible entity or a school participating in any program under this Act shall not discriminate against program participants or applicants on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, or sex.

(b)

Applicability and single sex schools, classes, or activities

(1)

In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the prohibition of sex discrimination in subsection (a) shall not apply to a participating school that is operated by, supervised by, controlled by, or connected to a religious organization to the extent that the application of subsection (a) is inconsistent with the religious tenets or beliefs of the school.

(2)

Single sex schools, classes, or activities

Notwithstanding subsection (a) or any other provision of law, a parent may choose and a school may offer a single sex school, class, or activity.

(3)

Applicability

For purposes of this Act, the provisions of section 909 of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1688) shall apply to this Act as if section 909 of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1688) were part of this Act.

(c)

Children with disabilities

Nothing in this Act may be construed to alter or modify the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.).

(d)

Religiously affiliated schools

(1)

In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a school participating in any program under this Act that is operated by, supervised by, controlled by, or connected to, a religious organization may exercise its right in matters of employment consistent with title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e–1 et seq.), including the exemptions in such title.

(2)

Maintenance of purpose

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, funds made available under section 7(a) to eligible students, which are used at a participating school as a result of their parents’ choice, shall not, consistent with the first amendment of the United States Constitution, necessitate any change in the participating school’s teaching mission, require any participating school to remove religious art, icons, scriptures, or other symbols, or preclude any participating school from retaining religious terms in its name, selecting its board members on a religious basis, or including religious references in its mission statements and other chartering or governing documents.

(e)

Rule of construction

A scholarship (or any other form of support provided to parents of eligible students) provided under section 7(a) shall be considered assistance to the student and shall not be considered assistance to the school that enrolls the eligible student. The amount of any such scholarship (or other form of support provided to parents of an eligible student) shall not be treated as income of the parents for purposes of Federal tax laws or for determining eligibility for any other Federal program.

9.

Evaluations

(a)

In general

(1)

Duties of the Secretary and the mayor

The Secretary and the Mayor of the District of Columbia shall—

(A)

jointly enter into an agreement with the Institute of Education Sciences of the Department of Education to evaluate annually the performance of students who received scholarships under the 5-year program under section 4(a), and the Mayor shall ensure that, for the purposes of this evaluation, all public and public charter schools of the District of Columbia comply with all reasonable requests for information;

(B)

jointly enter into an agreement to monitor and evaluate the use of funds authorized and appropriated under paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 14(b) for the public schools and public charter schools of the District of Columbia; and

(C)

make the evaluations public in accordance with subsection (c).

(2)

Duties of the Secretary

The Secretary, through a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement, shall—

(A)

ensure that the evaluation under paragraph (1)(A) is conducted using the strongest possible research design for determining the effectiveness of the program funded under section 4(a) that addresses the issues described in paragraph (4); and

(B)

disseminate information on the impact of the program in increasing the academic growth and achievement of participating students, and on the impact of the program on students and schools in the District of Columbia.

(3)

Duties of the institute of education sciences

The Institute of Education Sciences shall—

(A)

use a grade appropriate measurement each school year to assess participating eligible students;

(B)

measure the academic achievement of all participating eligible students; and

(C)

work with the eligible entities to ensure that the parents of each student who applies for an opportunity scholarship under a program under section 4(a) (regardless of whether the student receives the scholarship) and the parents of each student participating in the scholarship program under section 4(a), agree that the student will participate in the measurements given annually by the Institute of Education Sciences for the period for which the student applied for or received the scholarship, respectively, except that nothing in this subparagraph shall affect a student’s priority for an opportunity scholarship as provided under section 6(2).

(4)

Issues to be evaluated

The issues to be evaluated include—

(A)

a comparison of the academic growth and achievement of participating eligible students in the measurements described in this section with the academic growth and achievement of eligible students in the same grades in the public schools and public charter schools of the District of Columbia, who sought to participate in the scholarship program but were not selected;

(B)

the success of the program in expanding choice options for parents, improving parental and student satisfaction, and increasing parental involvement in the education of their children;

(C)

the reasons parents choose for their children to participate in the program;

(D)

a comparison of the retention rates, dropout rates, and (if appropriate) graduation and college admission rates of students who participate in the program funded under section 4(a), as compared to the retention rates, dropout rates, and (if appropriate) graduation and college admission rates of students of similar backgrounds who do not participate in such program;

(E)

the impact of the program on students, and public elementary schools and secondary schools, in the District of Columbia;

(F)

a comparison of the safety of the schools attended by students who participate in the program funded under section 4(a) and the schools attended by students who do not participate in the program, based on the perceptions of the students and parents and on objective measures of safety;

(G)

such other issues as the Secretary considers appropriate for inclusion in the evaluation; and

(H)

an analysis of the issues described in subparagraphs (A) through (G) with respect to the subgroup of eligible students participating in the program funded under section 4(a) who consistently use the opportunity scholarships to attend a participating school.

(5)

Prohibition

Personally identifiable information regarding the results of the measurements used for the evaluations may not be disclosed, except to the parents of the student to whom the information relates.

(b)

Reports

The Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Appropriations, Education and the Workforce, and Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives and the Committees on Appropriations, Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate—

(1)

annual interim reports, not later than December 1 of each year for which a grant is made under section 4(a), on the progress and preliminary results of the evaluation of the program funded under such section; and

(2)

a final report, not later than 1 year after the final year for which a grant is made under section 4(a), on the results of the evaluation of the program funded under such section.

(c)

Public availability

All reports and underlying data gathered pursuant to this section shall be made available to the public upon request, in a timely manner following submission of the applicable report under subsection (b), except that personally identifiable information shall not be disclosed or made available to the public.

(d)

Limit on amount expended

The amount expended by the Secretary to carry out this section for any fiscal year may not exceed 5 percent of the total amount appropriated to carry out section 4(a) for the fiscal year.

10.

Reporting requirements

(a)

Activities reports

Each eligible entity receiving funds under section 4(a) during a year shall submit a report to the Secretary not later than July 30 of the following year regarding the activities carried out with the funds during the preceding year.

(b)

Achievement reports

(1)

In general

In addition to the reports required under subsection (a), each grantee receiving funds under section 4(a) shall, not later than September 1 of the year during which the second academic year of the grantee’s program is completed and each of the next 2 years thereafter, submit to the Secretary a report, including any pertinent data collected in the preceding 2 academic years, concerning—

(A)

the academic growth and achievement of students participating in the program;

(B)

the graduation and college admission rates of students who participate in the program, where appropriate; and

(C)

parental satisfaction with the program.

(2)

Prohibiting disclosure of personal information

No report under this subsection may contain any personally identifiable information.

(c)

Reports to parent

(1)

In general

Each grantee receiving funds under section 4(a) shall ensure that each school participating in the grantee’s program under this Act during a year reports at least once during the year to the parents of each of the school’s students who are participating in the program on—

(A)

the student’s academic achievement, as measured by a comparison with the aggregate academic achievement of other participating students at the student’s school in the same grade or level, as appropriate, and the aggregate academic achievement of the student’s peers at the student’s school in the same grade or level, as appropriate;

(B)

the safety of the school, including the incidence of school violence, student suspensions, and student expulsions; and

(C)

the accreditation status of the school.

(2)

Prohibiting disclosure of personal information

No report under this subsection may contain any personally identifiable information, except as to the student who is the subject of the report to that student’s parent.

(d)

Report to Congress

(1)

Reports by Secretary

The Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Appropriations, Education and the Workforce, and Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives, and the Committees on Appropriations, Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate, an annual report on the findings of the reports submitted under subsections (a) and (b).

(2)

Reports by Mayor

In order for funds under paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 14(b) to be made available to the District of Columbia, the Mayor of the District of Columbia shall submit to the Committees on Appropriations, the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate, information on—

(A)

how the funds authorized and appropriated under paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 14(b) for the public schools and public charter schools of the District of Columbia were utilized; and

(B)

how such funds are contributing to student achievement.

11.

Other requirements for participating schools

(a)

Requests for data and information

Each school participating in a program funded under section 4(a) shall comply with all requests for data and information regarding evaluations conducted under section 9(a).

(b)

Rules of conduct and other school policies

Each school participating in a program funded under section 4(a), including each participating school described in section 8(d), may require eligible students to abide by any rules of conduct and other requirements applicable to all other students at the school.

(c)

Nationally norm-Referenced standardized tests

(1)

In general

Each school participating in a program funded under section 4(a) shall administer a nationally norm-referenced standardized test in reading and mathematics to each student enrolled in the school who is receiving an opportunity scholarship. The results of such test shall be reported to the student’s parents or legal guardians and to the Secretary, through the Institute of Education Sciences of the Department of Education, for the purposes of conducting the evaluation under section 9.

(2)

Make-up session

If a school participating in a program funded under section 4(a) does not administer a nationally norm-referenced standardized test or the Institute of Education Sciences does not receive data regarding the results of such test for a student who is receiving an opportunity scholarship, then the Secretary, acting through the Institute of Education Sciences, shall administer such test not less than once during each school year to each student receiving an opportunity scholarship.

12.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Elementary school

The term elementary school means an institutional day or residential school, including a public elementary charter school, that provides elementary education, as determined under District of Columbia law.

(2)

Eligible entity

The term eligible entity means any of the following:

(A)

A nonprofit organization.

(B)

A consortium of nonprofit organizations.

(3)

Eligible student

The term eligible student means a student who is a resident of the District of Columbia and comes from a household—

(A)

receiving assistance under the supplemental nutrition assistance program established under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.); or

(B)

whose income does not exceed—

(i)

185 percent of the poverty line; or

(ii)

in the case of a student participating in the program under this Act in the preceding year, 300 percent of the poverty line.

(4)

Parent

The term parent has the meaning given that term in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801).

(5)

Poverty line

The term poverty line has the meaning given that term in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801).

(6)

Secondary school

The term secondary school means an institutional day or residential school, including a public secondary charter school, that provides secondary education, as determined under District of Columbia law, except that the term does not include any education beyond grade 12.

(7)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of Education.

13.

Transition provisions

(a)

Repeal

The DC School Choice Incentive Act of 2003 (title III of division C of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2004 (Public Law 108–199; 118 Stat. 126)) is repealed.

(b)

Reauthorization of program

This Act shall be deemed to be the reauthorization of the District of Columbia opportunity scholarship program under the DC School Choice Incentive Act of 2003.

(c)

Orderly transition

Subject to subsections(d) and (e), the Secretary shall take such steps as the Secretary determines to be appropriate to provide for the orderly transition to the authority of this Act from any authority under the provisions of the DC School Choice Incentive Act of 2003 (Public Law 108–199; 118 Stat. 126), as the DC School Choice Incentive Act of 2003 was in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act.

(d)

Rule of construction

Nothing in this Act or a repeal made by this Act shall be construed to alter or affect the memorandum of understanding entered into with the District of Columbia, or any grant or contract awarded, under the DC School Choice Incentive Act of 2003 (Public Law 108–199; 118 Stat. 126), as the DC School Choice Incentive Act of 2003 was in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act.

(e)

Multi-Year awards

The recipient of a multi-year grant or contract award under the DC School Choice Incentive Act of 2003 (Public Law 108–199; 118 Stat. 126), as the DC School Choice Incentive Act of 2003 was in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act, shall continue to receive funds in accordance with the terms and conditions of such award.

14.

Authorization of appropriations

(a)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act, for the uses described in subsection (b), $60,000,000 for fiscal year 2012 and each of the 4 succeeding fiscal years.

(b)

Use of funds authorized under this Act

For each fiscal year, any amount appropriated to carry out this Act shall be equally divided among—

(1)

the Secretary, in order to carry out the District of Columbia opportunity scholarship program established under section 4(a);

(2)

the District of Columbia Public Schools, in order to improve public school education in the District of Columbia; and

(3)

the State Education Office of the District of Columbia, in order to expand quality public charter schools in the District of Columbia.