AN ACT TO ESTABLISH THE OPPORTUNITY SCHOLARSHIP GRANT FUND RESERVE TO PROVIDE FUNDS FOR SCHOLARSHIP GRANTS TO BE AWARDED TO STUDENTS FOR THE FOLLOWING SCHOOL YEAR.
Amends GS 115C-562.1 concerning nonpublic school grants, adding new subdivision (5a), defining the term Reserve as the Opportunity Scholarship Grant Fund Reserve established under GS 115C-562.8. Amends GS 115C-562.2 adding a new subsection (b1), which provides that beginning with the 2017-18 school year, from the funds appropriated by the General Assembly to award scholarship grants to eligible students, the State Education Assistance Authority (Authority) may award at least 2,000 more grants to eligible school students each school year than were served in the prior school year. Enacts GS 115C-562.8 to establish the Opportunity Scholarship Grant Fund Reserve, to be administered by the UNC Board of Governors to allocate funds to the Authority for the awarding of scholarship grants. The monies allocated to the Reserve are to be awarded in grants to eligible students for the school year that begins in the fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the appropriation was made to the Reserve. Moneys in the Fund do not revert, but still must be used for those specified purposes.
Amends GS 115C-562.8, effective July 1, 2017, making organizational changes, and enacting a new subsection (b), which states that beginning in fiscal year 2017-18 until 2026-27, $10 million in additional funds need to be appropriated each fiscal year to the Opportunity Scholarship Fund Reserve, represented in a chart form. Further adds that beginning in fiscal year 2027-28 and each fiscal year thereafter an appropriation from the General Fund to the Fund is made in the amount of $134.840 million. Allows the retention of up to 4% or $1.5 million in funds, whichever is lesser, for administrative costs. Effective July 1, 2017.
Repeals Section 5(b) of SL 2013-364, as amended, concerning the amount of SEAA funds for the special education scholarship grant program that may be used for administrative costs. Effective July 1, 2017.
Provides that the intent of the General Assembly is to move the Oppportunity Scholarship Grant Program funding into the Reserve so that funds appropriated for grants are awarded to students for the following school year, in order to provide stability.
Appropriates $24.840 million from the UNC Board of Governors to the Opportunity Scholarship Grant Program for the 2016-17 fiscal year, nonrecurring, to be used to award grants to eligible students for the 2016-17 school year.
Also appropriates $24.840 million from the General Fund to the Reserve for 2016-17 to be used to award scholarship grants to eligible students for the 2017-18 school year as provided above.
Unless otherwise indicated, effective July 1, 2016.
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