Friday, August 27, 2010

State Board of Ed Passes Rules to Implement HB 3393, The Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships

At the monthly Oklahoma State Board of Education meeting yesterday the Board voted to approve Emergency Administrative Rules consistent with House Bill 3393 passed during the 2010 legislative session. The rules are disigned to answer questions and provide guidance to public and private schools as well as parents as the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships Program is implemented. This new law becomes effective today.

"I've worked closely with the State Department of Education and State Superintendent Sandy Garrett during the drafting of the rules by the agency," said Rep. Jason Nelson, author of HB 3393. "They have done a great job fielding questions about the program and addressing those question in the new rules."

Here are the new emergency rules which still must be approved by Governor Brad Henry. It is anticipated that he will approve the rules.


210:15-13-7. Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program
 (a) Scholarship Requests. When a parent of an eligible student requests a scholarship, they must notify the district of residence. The district of residence is defined as the legal district of residence, unless the child is a child with an IEP who has been on a transfer of any kind for three consecutive years, in which case the district is then defined as the receiving district, as required by 70 O.S. 13-103(d). If a child is on a transfer of any kind, that does not meet the three-year rule, and accepts the scholarship, the transfer is effectively terminated.
 (b) Payments. Payments will be made to the private school on a quarterly basis upon verification of continued enrollment and attendance at the private school. Payments will be made in arrears, following the completion of each quarter. The payments will be made after the private school provides the public school with a quarterly attendance record for each child receiving the scholarship.
 (c) Private School Eligibility. In order to be eligible to accept students on the scholarship, private schools must be accredited by the State Board of Education or another accrediting association approved by the State Board of Education. Only school districts within the state of Oklahoma can be accredited by the State Board of Education. No out of state schools are eligible to participate in the scholarship program.
 (d) Amount of Scholarship. Within ten business days of receipt by the public school district of the parental request the State Department of Education must receive from the public school a request form for a determination of the calculation of the maximum scholarship amount. The State Department of Education must provide the calculation of the maximum amount of the scholarship to the public school in writing within fifteen business days of the receipt of the request. The parent shall be notified of the maximum amount of the scholarship in writing in a timely manner, not to exceed thirty business days from the request. Scholarship amounts will be calculated at the time of the parental request and will not change during the course of the school year regardless of a school district’s mid-year adjustments. The amount of the scholarship will be calculated annually as required by 70 O.S. 13-101.1, Section 2(F)(1).
 (e) Tracking. School districts providing scholarships shall annually report for child-count and funding purposes, all students who are attending a private school under the scholarship program to the State Department of Education. Students must be reported as Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship Students on both the Special Education Child Count and the First Quarter Statistical Report (FQSR) and the Annual Statistical Report (ASR). These scholarship students will also be tracked through the WAVE.
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