Title 17. Education
Chapter 43. School Choice Scholarships
Part I. Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program
17:4016 Scholarship amounts; funding
A. The department shall allocate annually from funds appropriated or otherwise available for the program an amount per pupil to each participating school equal to the amount allocated per pupil as provided in the minimum foundation program formula, inclusive of the calculations of both the local and state per pupil allocations, to the local school system in which the scholarship recipient resides, considering all student characteristics. For a participating school that charges tuition, if the maximum amount of tuition plus incidental or supplementary fees that are charged to non-scholarship students enrolled in such school and any costs incurred in administering the tests required pursuant to R.S. 17:4023 is less than the amount allocated per pupil to the local school system in which the student resides, then the amount allocated per pupil to the school shall be equal to the sum of such maximum tuition amount, such incidental or supplementary fees charged to non-scholarship students, and such testing costs.
B. (1) If a scholarship recipient enrolled in a participating nonpublic school would have been entitled to receive special education services in the public school he would otherwise be attending, his parent or legal guardian shall acknowledge in writing, as part of the enrollment process that the parent or legal guardian agrees to accept only such services as are available to all students enrolled in the nonpublic school.
(2) The parent or legal guardian may make a parental placement to receive special education and related services from a participating nonpublic school that has demonstrated the capacity to offer such services. In such case, the nonpublic school may charge a higher tuition for students receiving such services, and the department shall allocate annually from the funds appropriated or otherwise available to the program an amount per pupil to each participating nonpublic school equal to a special education tuition amount based on the cost of providing special education services identified for that student to the participating nonpublic school. This amount shall be in addition to the participating nonpublic school’s maximum scholarship payment as described in Subsection A of this Section but the total of the payment and the special education tuition shall not exceed the amount that would be allocated as provided in Subsection A of this Section for that student to the local school system if the student otherwise would be attending public school.
(3)(a) A participating nonpublic school shall not discriminate against a child with special educational needs during the program admissions process. However, as a nonpublic school, a participating school is required to offer only those services that it already provides or such services as necessary to assist students with special needs that it can provide with minor adjustments. A nonpublic school may partner with the local school system to provide special education services.
(b) Information regarding the services a participating school is able to and shall provide, the services the local school system is able to and shall provide, and the services the local school system currently provides to children with special needs who are enrolled in a nonpublic school shall be made available by the department to parents and legal guardians prior to the enrollment process.
(4) To be determined to have demonstrated capacity to offer special education services pursuant to Paragraph (2) of this Subsection, a participating nonpublic school shall meet all of the following criteria:
(a) Has existed and provided educational services to students with exceptionalities as defined in R.S. 17:1942, excluding students deemed to be gifted or talented, for at least two years prior to participation in the program and such provision of services shall be pursuant to an established program in place at the school that includes instruction by teachers holding appropriate certification in special education or other appropriate education or training as defined by the department and that is in accordance with a student’s Individual Education Plan.
(b) In accordance with time lines as determined by the department, inform the department of the types of student exceptionalities as defined in R.S. 17:1942(B) that the school is able to serve.
C. Each scholarship recipient is a member of the local school system in which he attended or otherwise would be attending public school for that school year. Prior to the program enrollment process and in accordance with a time line specified by the department for this purpose, students entering kindergarten shall enroll in the membership of the local school system in which they otherwise would be attending public school for that school year. Each local school system shall conduct its annual kindergarten enrollment process in accordance with the department’s time line and shall report such enrollment to the department prior to the program enrollment process.
Added by Acts 2008, No. 509, § 1, eff. June 25, 2008. Amended by Acts 2012, No. 2, § 1; Acts 2014, No. 779, § 1, eff. July 1, 2014.