HB 2758: empowerment scholarships; qualified school
PRIME SPONSOR: Representative Petersen, LD 12
BILL STATUS: Appropriations
Allows students to continue using ESA monies to pay for tuition until July 1, 2020 provided they meet certain residency requirements.
The Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) provides alternative options for students to receive an education. To qualify for the ESA program, a student must live in Arizona, including living within the boundaries of an Indian reservation within Arizona (A.R.S. § 15-2401(7)). Statute prescribes requirements on how students may use monies deposited into their ESA accounts, including for tuition and fees at a qualified school, textbooks required by a qualified school, textbooks required by a qualified school, and uniforms purchase through a qualified school (A.R.S. § 15-2402(B)(4)). A qualified school is a nongovernmental primary or secondary school or a preschool for pupils with disabilities that is located in Arizona and that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color or national origin (A.R.S. § 15-2401(6)).
1. Allows students to continue to use ESA monies to pay tuition until July 1, 2020 and is not required to repay the Arizona Department of Education for any monies previously spent for tuition at that school if the student:
a. Is currently enrolled in an ESA;
b. Resides within the boundaries of an Indian reservation in Arizona; and
c. Paid tuition to a nongovernmental primary or secondary school or a preschool for pupils with disabilities that is:
i. Located in an adjacent state; and
ii. Within two miles of the border between that state and Arizona.
2. Classifies as a qualified school until July 1, 2020 a school that is located two miles from the Arizona border and that accepted ESA monies in the 2017-2018 or 2018-2019 school year from a student who resides on an Indian reservation in Arizona.
3. Specifies that a student cannot use ESA monies to pay tuition to a qualified school if the student did not pay tuition to that school in the 2018-2019 school year.
4. Allows a student to remain eligible and be reinstated in the ESA program if the student was:
a. Enrolled in an ESA;
b. Resided within the boundaries of an Indian reservation in this state;
c. Paid tuition to a nongovernmental primary or secondary school or a preschool for pupils with disabilities located in an adjacent state that is located within two miles from the border between that state and Arizona; and
d. Received a termination letter from ADE.
5. Contains a retroactivity clause.
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9. Fifty-fourth Legislature HB 2758
10. First Regular Session Version 1: Appropriations
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