AN ACT TO CHANGE THE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR THE OPPORTUNITY SCHOLARSHIP GRANT FUND PROGRAM TO ALLOW ANY STUDENT ELIGIBLE TO ATTEND A NORTH CAROLINA PUBLIC SCHOOL TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR A SCHOLARSHIP GRANT AND TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS FOR THE EXPANSION OF THE PROGRAM.
Amends GS 115C-562.1(3)a., eliminating the existing eligibility requirements for opportunity scholarships for eligible students to attend nonpublic schools. Instead, makes any student who is eligible to attend a NC public school under GS 115C-366 eligible to receive an opportunity scholarship.
Repeals GS 115C-562.2(a)(2)b., which required no more than 40% of the funds remaining after returning students are given funding priority to be used to award scholarship grants to eligible students entering either kindergarten or first grade. Now, remaining funds are to be distributed pursuant to the other existing parameters, which require at least 50% of the remaining funds to be used for eligible students residing in households with an income level which does not exceed the amount required for the student to qualify for the federal free or reduced-price lunch program, with the remainder to all other eligible students.
Amends GS 115C-562.8(b), increasing the amounts appropriated for the 2020-21 through the 2026-27 fiscal years, and for the 2027-28 fiscal year and every fiscal year thereafter, to the Opportunity Scholarship Grant Fund Reserve by $2 million each.
Applies beginning with the award of scholarship grants for the 2021-2022 school year.
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