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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jun 16, 2016.
Local Education Freedom Act of 2016
This bill requires a state to carry out an education voucher program as a condition of receiving federal funds for elementary and secondary education.
Through the program, a parent of an eligible child may enter into an agreement with a state educational agency (SEA) if the child's school receives federal funds on the condition of implementing a federal mandate with which the parent disagrees. An SEA shall: (1) provide an education savings account to each eligible child whose parent enters into such an agreement, and (2) disburse to each account an amount equal to the state's average per-pupil expenditure.
The funds in an education savings account may be used only for:
tuition and fees for a qualifying provider; textbooks, supplemental materials, and supplies; specified examination fees; transportation; a contribution to a qualified tuition program or specified education savings account; and other education expenses approved by the SEA. A "qualifying provider" is an SEA-approved entity that complies with specified requirements and is: (1) a public or nonpublic school; (2) a home school, provided that the eligible child was enrolled in a public school during the previous academic year; (3) a tutoring facility; (4) a provider of distance learning or specialized instructional support services; or (5) an institution of higher education.
In general, a qualified provider may not discriminate against program participants or applicants on the basis of race, color, national origin, or sex. However, the prohibition on sex discrimination shall not apply to religiously affiliated providers to the extent that such application is inconsistent with the provider's religious tenets or beliefs.