H.R.2546 - District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 1996104th Congress (1995-1996)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Walsh, James T. [R-NY-25] (Introduced 10/26/1995)|
|Committees:||House - Appropriations|
|Committee Reports:||H. Rept. 104-294; H. Rept. 104-455 (Conference Report)|
|Latest Action:||03/12/1996 Fourth cloture on the conference report not invoked in Senate by Yea-Nay Vote. 56-44. Record Vote No: 25. (consideration: CR S1808) (All Actions)|
|Major Recorded Votes:||01/31/1996 : Resolving Differences; 11/02/1995 : Passed House|
This bill has the status Resolving Differences
Here are the steps for Status of Legislation:
- Passed House
- Passed Senate
- Resolving Differences
Subject — Policy Area:
- Economics and Public Finance
- View subjects
Summary: H.R.2546 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Bill Information (Except Text)
Conference report filed in House (01/31/1996)
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Title I: Fiscal year 1996 Appropriations
Title II: District of Columbia School Reform
Subtitle A: District of Columbia Reform Plan
Subtitle B: Public Charter Schools
Subtitle C: Even Start
Subtitle D: World Class Schools Task Force, Core
Curriculum, Content Standards, Assessments,
and Promotion Gates
Subtitle E: Per Capita District of Columbia Public
School and Public Charter School Funding
Subtitle F: School Facilities Repair and Improvement
Subtitle G: Residential School
Subtitle H: Progress Reports and Accountability
Subtitle I: Partnerships with Business
Subtitle J: Management and Fiscal Accountability
Subtitle K: Personal Accountability and Preservation of
Subtitle L: Establishment and Organization of the
Commission on Consensus Reform in the District of
Columbia Public Schools
Subtitle M: Parent Attendance at Parent-Teacher
Subtitle N: Low-Income Scholarships
Title I: Fiscal Year 1996 Appropriations - District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 1996 - Makes appropriations for the District of Columbia Government for FY 1996, including funds for: (1) the Federal payment ($660 million); (2) the Federal contribution to the Police Officers and Fire Fighters', Teachers', and Judges' Retirement Funds ($52.07 million); and (3) the Federal contribution to education reform ($14.93 million, including $5 million for scholarships for low-income students).
Appropriates specified sums for the District of Columbia out of the District of Columbia general fund for the current fiscal year for: (1) governmental direction and support; (2) economic development and regulation; (3) public safety and justice; (4) the public education system; (5) education reform; (6) human support services; (7) public works; (8) repayment of specified loans and interest; (9) repayment of the general fund recovery debt; (10) repayment of interest on short-term borrowing; (11) the Rainy Day Fund; (12) the incentive buyout program; (13) outplacement services; (14) capital outlay (including rescissions); (15) the Water and Sewer Enterprise Fund and construction projects; (16) the Lottery and Charitable Games Enterprise Fund; (17) the Cable Television Enterprise Fund; (18) the Starplex Fund; (19) D.C. General Hospital; (20) the D.C. Retirement Board; (21) the Correctional Industries Fund; (22) the Washington Convention Center Enterprise Fund; and (23) the D.C. Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority (Authority). Prohibits the use of revenues from Federal sources to support the Statehood Commission and Statehood Compact Commission. Requires the District to operate a free, 24-hour telephone information service where residents of the area surrounding Lorton prison can obtain information about all prison disturbances.
Requires the Mayor of the District to reduce appropriations and expenditures in specified amounts for: (1) nonpersonal services and personal services, including by decreasing rates of compensation for District government employees through the renegotiation of existing collective bargaining agreements and otherwise, if necessary; and (2) boards and commissions. Requires the Chief Financial Officer of the District, on behalf of the Mayor, to adjust appropriations and expenditures for personal and nonpersonal services, together with the related full-time equivalent positions, in accordance with the direction of the Authority to obtain a specified net reduction within or among one or several of the various appropriation headings in this Act.
(Sec. 101) Sets forth certain uses of and restrictions on the expenditure of appropriations made by this Act.
(Sec. 110) Requires that the annual budget for the District of Columbia government for FY 1997 be transmitted to the Congress by April 15, 1996, or as provided under the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Act of 1995.
(Sec. 123) Directs the Mayor to submit to the D.C. Council, within 30 days after the end of the first quarter of FY 1996, the FY 1996 revenue estimates.
(Sec. 130) Prohibits: (1) Federal funds provided under this Act from being used by the District to provide for salaries, expenses, or other costs associated with the offices of U.S. Senator or U.S. Representatives under the District of Columbia Statehood Constitutional Convention Initiatives of 1979; (2) any funds appropriated under this Act from being expended for any abortion unless it is necessary to save the life of the mother or if the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest; or (3) any funds made available pursuant to this Act from being used to implement or enforce the District Domestic Partner Act (also called the District of Columbia Health Care Benefits Expansion Act of 1992) or any registration system for unmarried, cohabitating couples whether they are homosexual, lesbian, or heterosexual, including registration for the extension of employment, health, or governmental benefits to such couples on the same basis that such benefits are extended to legally married couples.
(Sec. 135) Amends the District of Columbia Real Property Tax Revision Act of 1974 to require the D.C. Council, if it extends the time to establish rates of taxation on real property for a tax year, to establish such rates by permanent legislation. Changes the date by which the Council should establish the rates from July 15 to October 15. Applies, during a tax year, the rates of taxation for the prior year if the rates are not established and the Council does not extend the time. Makes the real property tax rates for taxable real property in the District for FY 1996 the same rates in effect for FY 1994. Repeals provisions of the Act which require such rates to be those submitted by the Mayor or the D.C. Council.
(Sec. 137) Specifies reporting requirements for: (1) the Mayor (with respect to actions to effect the directives of the Council in this Act with respect to certain spending reductions); (2) the Board of Education; and (3) the University of the District of Columbia.
(Sec. 144) Prohibits an agency from filling a position wholly funded by appropriations authorized by this Act which is vacant on October 1, 1995, or which becomes vacant during FY 1996, unless the Mayor or the independent agency submits a proposed resolution of intent to fill the vacant position to the D.C. Council for approval or disapproval. Prohibits any reduction in the number of full-time equivalent positions or any reduction-in-force due to privatization or contracting out if the Authority disallows the full-time equivalent position reduction provided in this Act in meeting the specified ceiling of 35,984 for FY 1996. Allows the appropriate personnel authority to fill a vacant position with a District government employee currently occupying a position that is funded with appropriated funds. Exempts local school-based teachers, officers, teachers' aides, or certain D.C. court personnel.
(Sec. 147) Precludes the use of the funds provided in this Act for the renovation of property at 227 7th Street Southeast, Washington, D.C. (commonly known as Eastern Market), except for the regular maintenance and upkeep of its current structure and grounds.
(Sec. 149) Modifies D.C. reductions-in-force procedures to allow a personnel authority to establish lesser competitive areas within an agency on the basis of all or a clearly identifiable segment of an agency's mission or a division or major subdivision of an agency. Authorizes each agency head to identify positions for abolishment. Outlines procedures for abolishment of such positions for FY 1996.
(Sec. 150) Prohibits the total amount appropriated in this Act under the caption "Division of Expenses" for District operating expenses for FY 1996 from exceeding $4.994 million, of which $165.339 million shall be from intra-District funds. Allows the Mayor to accept, obligate, and expend Federal, private, and other grants received by the District government that are not reflected in the amounts appropriated in this Act. Prohibits acceptance, obligation, and expenditure of such grants until: (1) the Chief Financial Officer submits to the Authority a report setting forth detailed information regarding such grant; and (2) the Authority reviews and approves such action. Prohibits obligation or expenditure from the general fund or other funds of the District government in anticipation of approval or receipt of such grants not subject to this Act. Requires the Chief Financial Officer to report monthly to the D.C. Council and specified congressional committees on detailed information regarding all of such grants subject to this Act.
(Sec. 151) Requires the District, by March 15, 1996, to develop a series of alternative plans for the use and operation of the Lorton Correctional Complex, including plans under which the Complex will be closed, will remain in operation under the District's management, or will be operated under Federal or private management.
(Sec. 152) Prohibits a person from joining in a petition to a District court for a decree of adoption unless the person is the petitioner's spouse. Allows an unmarried person to file a petition for adoption when no other person joins in the petition or where the co-petitioner is the natural parent of the child.
(Sec. 154) Establishes in the Water and Sewer Enterprise Fund: (1) the Operation and Maintenance Account to be used solely for funding the operation and maintenance of the Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Facility and related waste water treatment works; and (2) an Environmental Protection Agency Grant Account to be used solely for purposes specified under the terms of the grants and appropriations involved.
Title II: District of Columbia School Reform - District of Columbia School Reform Act of 1995 - Subtitle A: District of Columbia Reform Plan - Requires the Superintendent of the District of Columbia public schools, with the approval of the Board of Education, to submit a long-term reform plan for the District's school system to the Mayor, the D.C. Council, the Authority, the Commission on Consensus Reform in the District of Columbia public schools (established under subtitle L), and the appropriate congressional committees within 90 days after this Act's enactment and each February 15 thereafter. Requires each plan to be consistent with the financial plan and budget for the District for FY 1996 and each subsequent fiscal year, as the case may be, required under the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Act of 1995. Specifies areas to be addressed, measurement and deadline requirements, and goals for the plans, including: (1) improving the health and safety of students; and (2) providing after-school programs offering such activities as art classes, physical fitness programs, and community service.
Subtitle B: Public Charter Schools - Prescribes the process for filing charter petitions with respect to an eligible applicant seeking to: (1) convert an existing District public, private, or independent school into a public charter school; or (2) establish a public charter school in the District.
(Sec. 2202) Lists the contents of public charter school petitions, including a description of the proposed scope and size of the school's program, any special area of focus for the school, the employment relationship between the school and its employees, and assurances that the school will seek and maintain accreditation and licensing. Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) the process for approving or denying petitions (permits approval of up to ten petitions for the 1996-1997 academic year and up to five for each year thereafter); (2) duties, powers, and other requirements of such schools (prohibits the schools from charging tuition, fees, or other mandatory payments, except to nonresident students or for field trips or similar activities and requires the schools to be nonsectarian and unaffiliated with a sectarian school or religious institution); (3) the Boards of Trustees of such schools; (4) student admission, enrollment, and withdrawal; (5) transfers, creditable service, and retirement concerns of District public school employees who work for public charter schools; (6) reduced fares on public transportation for the schools' students; and (7) the provision of services, such as facilities maintenance, to public charter schools by the Superintendent of D.C. schools.
(Sec. 2210) Considers a public charter school, for any fiscal year, to be a local educational agency (LEA) for purposes of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) and makes the school eligible for assistance under ESEA if the ratio of low-income students to all students in the school equals or exceeds the lowest of such ratio for an eligible public school. Provides for the allocation of ESEA assistance between eligible District public charter schools and public schools for FY 1996 through 1998. Requires the Secretary of Education to calculate such allocations for FY 1999 and thereafter according to a specified formula based on the numbers of low-income students served. Prohibits the Board of Education from directing a public charter school in the school's use of such funds. Exempts the public charter schools from specified ESEA provisions and from District property and sales taxes.
Directs each public charter school to elect to be treated as an LEA or a District public school for purposes of specified provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
(Sec. 2211) Outlines the powers and duties of eligible chartering authorities.
(Sec. 2212) Requires a charter granted to a public charter school to be in force for a five-year period. Allows renewal of such charter for an unlimited number of times (each for a five-year period).
(Sec. 2213) Permits an eligible chartering authority that has granted a charter to a public charter school to revoke the charter if the authority determines that the school has committed a violation of applicable laws or a material violation of the conditions, terms, standards, or procedures set forth in the charter.
(Sec. 2214) Establishes a Public Charter School Board within the District government.
Authorizes appropriations for FY 1996 through 2000.
(Sec. 2215) Encourages the following Federal agencies and federally established entities to explore whether it is feasible for the agency or entity to establish one or more public charter schools and to report such determination on the feasibility to the appropriate congressional committees: (1) the Library of Congress; (2) the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; (3) the Drug Enforcement Administration; (4) the National Science Foundation; (5) the Department of Justice; (6) the Department of Defense; (7) the Department of Education; and (8) the Smithsonian Institution, including the National Zoological Park, the National Museum of American History, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the National Gallery of Art.
Subtitle C: Even Start - Amends ESEA to authorize appropriations for FY 1996 through 2000 for the purpose of carrying out Even Start programs in the District.
Requires the Secretary to provide grants, on a competitive basis, to eligible entities to enable them to carry out District Even Start programs that build on the findings of the National Evaluation of the Even Start Family Literacy Program, such as providing intensive services in early childhood education, parent training, and adult literacy or education. Limits such grants to eight for FY 1996, 14 for FY 1997, 20 for each of FY 1998 and 1999, and 20 or such number as the Secretary determines appropriate for FY 2000, taking into account the results of evaluations described in ESEA.
Defines "eligible entity" as a partnership composed of at least: (1) a District public school: (2) the LEA in existence on September 1, 1995, for the District, any other public organization, or an institution of higher education as defined in the Higher Education Act of 1965; and (3) a private nonprofit community-based organization.
Directs the Secretary to allocate specified amounts of authorized appropriations for District Even Start programs to: (1) enter into a contract with the National Center for Family Literacy for the provision of technical assistance to eligible entities; and (2) provide for evaluations to determine the effectiveness of such programs in providing high quality family literacy services.
Subtitle D: World Class Schools Task Force, Core Curriculum, Content Standards, Assessments, and Promotion Gates - Part 1: World Class Schools Task Force, Core Curriculum, Content Standards, and Assessments - Authorizes the Superintendent to award a grant to a World Class Schools Task Force to enable the Task Force to recommend to the Superintendent, the Board of Education, and the District of Columbia Goals Panel: (1) content standards in the core academic subjects that are developed by working with the District community (requires such standards to be developed within 12 months after this Act's enactment); (2) a core curriculum (which includes the teaching of computer skills) developed by working with the D.C. community; (3) district-wide assessments for measuring student achievement in accordance with such content standards; and (4) model professional development programs for teachers using the standards and curriculum.
Encourages the Task Force, to the extent practicable, to develop district-wide assessments that permit comparison among: (1) individual D.C. public schools and public charter schools and individual students attending such schools; and (2) students of other nations.
(Sec. 2415) Authorizes appropriations for FY 1996.
Part 2: Promotion Gates - Requires the Superintendent, within one year of the adoption of the assessments, to establish and implement promotion gates: (1) for mathematics, reading, and writing for at least one grade level from kindergarten through grade four, including at least grade four, and to establish dates for establishing such other promotion gates for other subject areas; (2) with respect to at least one grade level from grade five through grade eight, including at least grade eight; and (3) with respect to at least one grade level from grade nine through 12, including grade 12.
Subtitle E: Per Capita District of Columbia Public School and Public Charter School Funding - Requires the Mayor, for FY 1997 and each fiscal year thereafter, to make annual payments to the Board of Education for the operating expenses of the District public schools and charter schools from the general fund of the District in accordance with a specified formula based on the number of students in public schools and public charter schools.
(Sec. 2502) Sets forth provisions which require reports by: (1) each public school and charter school to the Mayor and the Board of Education of the calculation of the number of students enrolled in each grade from kindergarten through grade 12; (2) the Board of Education to the Authority, the Mayor, the D.C. Council, the Consensus Commission, the Comptroller General of the United States, and appropriate congressional committees which summarize the most recent calculations; and (3) the Authority on an independent audit of such initial calculations.
(Sec. 2503) Sets forth provisions providing for transition funding for District public charter schools.
Subtitle F: School Facilities Repair and Improvement - Part 1: School Facilities - Requires the Administrator of the General Services Administration to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement or Understanding with the Superintendent regarding the terms under which the Administrator will provide technical assistance and related services with respect to District public schools facilities management.
Authorizes the Administrator to accept and use a conditioned gift made for the express purpose of repairing or improving the District public schools, except that the Administrator shall not be required to carry out such repairs or improvements unless he or she accepts a donation sufficient to cover the costs of the repairs or improvements.
(Sec. 2552) Requires the Mayor and the D.C. Council, within 24 months after the Agreement is signed and in consultation with the Administrator, the Authority, the Board of Education, and the Superintendent to: (1) design and implement a comprehensive long-term program for the repair and improvement, and maintenance and management, of the District public school facilities; and (2) designate a new or existing agency or authority within the District government to administer the program.
(Sec. 2553) Authorizes appropriations to the Administrator for FY 1996 for the costs of engineering plans.
Part 2: Waivers - Allows voluntary donation of materials and services for the repair and improvement of District school facilities.
Waives, with respect to any contractor, subcontractor, and any other group, entity, or individual who donates materials and services for the repair or improvement of a District public school facility, all District fees and all requirements contained in the document entitled "District of Columbia Public Schools Standard Contract Provisions" published by the District public schools for use with construction or maintenance projects for purposes of repair and improvement of such facilities for a period beginning on this Act's enactment date and ending 24 months after such date.
Part 3: Gifts, Donations, Bequests, and Devises - Allows a District public school or public charter school to accept directly from any person a gift, donation, bequest, or devise of any property, real or personal, without regard to any District law or regulation.
Subtitle G: Residential School - Authorizes the Superintendent to develop a plan that meets specified requirements to establish for the District a residential school for academic year 1997-1998 and to assist in the startup of such school.
Authorizes appropriations for FY 1996 to develop the plan and for 1997 for capital costs associated with the startup of the school, including the purchase of real and personal property and the renovation or construction of facilities.
Makes the school an eligible institution for the purposes of scholarships awarded under this Act.
Subtitle H: Progress Reports and Accountability - Requires the Superintendent to report to the appropriate congressional committees, the Board of Education, the Mayor, the Consensus Commission, and the D.C. Council on the progress of the District public schools toward achieving the goals of the long-term reform plan.
(Sec. 2652) Requires the Chairperson of the D.C. Council to report to such committees on legislative and other actions the Council has taken or will take to facilitate the implementation of the goals of such plan.
Subtitle I: Partnerships with Business - Requires the Superintendent to provide a grant to a private, nonprofit corporation which shall: (1) establish the District Education and Learning Technologies Advancement Council; (2) in conjunction with the Superintendent, students, parents, and teachers, implement strategies to ensure access to state-of-the-art educational technology within the District public schools and public charter schools; (3) assist the Superintendent in acquiring the necessary equipment, including computer hardware and software, to establish an electronic data transfer system and in training District public school employees in using such equipment; (4) establish the District Employment and Learning Center to serve as a regional institute providing job training and employment assistance; (5) establish initiatives with the District public schools and public charter schools, appropriate governmental agencies, and businesses and other private entities to facilitate the integration of rigorous academic studies with workforce preparation programs in District public schools and public charter schools; (6) establish a consortium for the purpose of establishing a program for the professional development of teachers and school administrators employed by the District public schools and public charter schools; (7) provide matching funds, or in-kind contributions, or a combination thereof, for the purposes of carrying out such duties; and (8) establish the Jobs for District of Columbia Graduates Program to assist District public schools and public charter schools in organizing and implementing a school-to-work transition system to give priority to providing assistance to at-risk and disadvantaged youths.
(Sec. 2705) Requires the corporation, to the extent practicable, to provide matching funds, or in-kind contributions, or a combination thereof, for the purposes of carrying out such duties.
(Sec. 2708) Authorizes appropriations for FY 1996 through 1998.
(Sec. 2709) Terminates on October 1, 1998, the authority to provide assistance to the corporation or any other entity established by it. Expresses the sense of the Congress that: (1) the corporation's activities under this Act should continue to be carried out after such date with resources made available from the private sector; and (2) the corporation should provide oversight and coordination for such activities after such date.
Subtitle J: Management and Fiscal Accountability - Requires the Board of Education to: (1) enter into a contract for academic year 1995 through 1996 and each succeeding academic year for the provision of all food services operations and security services for District public schools, unless the Superintendent determines that it is not feasible and provides such reasons in writing to the Board and to the Authority; and (2) for academic year 1995 through 1996, consult with the Authority on the development of new management and data systems, as well as training of personnel to use and manage the systems in areas of budget, finance, personnel and human resources, management information services, procurement, supply management, and other systems recommended by the Authority.
(Sec. 2752) Sets forth provisions with respect to the Board of Education regarding: (1) annual reporting requirements on positions and employees of the D.C. public school system; (2) annual budgets and budget revisions; (3) read-only access to its internal financial management systems and all other data bases to designated staff of the Mayor, the Council, the Authority, and appropriate congressional committees; and (4) development of its FY 1997 budget request.
Subtitle K: Personal Accountability and Preservation of School - Based Resources - Prohibits a reduction in the full-time equivalent positions for school-based teachers, principals, counselors, librarians, or other school-based educational positions that were established as of the end of FY 1995, unless the Authority determines, based on student enrollment that: (1) fewer school-based positions are needed to maintain established pupil-to-staff ratios; or (2) reductions in positions for other than school-based employees are not practicable.
Defines "school-based educational position" as a position located at a District public school or other position providing direct support to students at such a school such as a position for a clerical, stenographic, or secretarial employee, but not any part-time educational aide position.
(Sec. 2802) Amends the District of Columbia Government Comprehensive Merit Personnel Act of 1978 to modify the Board of Education's reduction-in-force procedures to prohibit the Board from requiring or permitting nonschool-based personnel or school administrators to be assigned or reassigned to the same competitive level as classroom teachers.
(Sec. 2803) Makes the evaluation process and instruments for evaluating District public school employees a nonnegotiable item for collective bargaining purposes.
(Sec. 2804) Provides that such an employee shall be: (1) classified as an educational service employee; (2) placed under the Board's personnel authority; and (3) subject to all Board rules.
Subtitle L: Establishment and Organization of the Commission on Consensus Reform in the District of Columbia Public Schools - Establishes within the District government a Commission on Consensus Reform in the District of Columbia Public Schools to: (1) identify and suggest ways to remove obstacles to implementation of the long-term reform plan; (2) assist in developing programs that lower the dropout rate and that ensure that public school students achieve basic literacy, critical thinking, and communication skills; (3) assist in developing district-wide skills assessments; (4) make recommendations to improve community, parent, and business involvement in public schools; (5) recommend ways to increase student involvement and attention; and (6) assist in establishing procedures that ensure that every student is provided necessary employment skills, including the development of individual career paths.
(Sec. 2854) Requires any student who is required to serve a suspension from classes at a District public school outside the school, to perform community service.
(Sec. 2855) Allows the Commission to examine and request the Inspector General of the District of Columbia or the Authority to audit: (1) Board of Education records to ensure, monitor, and evaluate the Board's performance with respect to compliance with the long-term reform plan and such plan's overall educational achievement; and (2) records of any public charter school to assure, monitor and evaluate the performance of the school with respect to the content standards and district-wide assessment.
Subtitle M: Parent Attendance at Parent-Teacher Conferences - Authorizes the Mayor to implement a policy which encourages all District residents with children attending a District public school to attend and participate in at least one parent-teacher conference every 90 days during the academic year.
Subtitle N: Low-Income Scholarships - Authorizes establishment of a private, nonprofit corporation to be known as the District of Columbia Scholarship Corporation to administer, publicize, and evaluate a scholarship program in accordance with this subtitle and to determine student and school eligibility.
Establishes, within the District of Columbia general fund, the District of Columbia Scholarship Fund to be used by the Corporation solely for scholarships, contracts, and administrative costs. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1996 through 2000.
Declares the intent of the Congress to turn over to District officials the control of the Corporation after five years.
(Sec. 2923) Authorizes the Corporation to award tuition scholarships and enhanced achievement scholarships to students in kindergarten through grade 12 who are District residents and whose family income does not exceed 185 percent of the poverty line, with priority to students enrolled in a District public school or preparing to enter a District kindergarten. Directs the Corporation to attempt to ensure an equitable distribution of scholarships to students at diverse academic achievement levels.
Limits the use of tuition scholarships to tuition, mandatory fees, and transportation. Permits enhanced achievement scholarships to be used only for tuition, mandatory fees, and transportation to attend: (1) a program of nonsectarian instruction which enhances student achievement of the core curriculum and is operated outside of regular schools hours; (2) after-school activities that do not have an academic focus, such as athletics or music lessons; or (3) vocational and technical training programs. Considers the scholarships as assistance to students and not assistance to eligible institutions.
(Sec. 2924) Limits the amounts of tuition scholarships and enhanced achievement scholarships to: (1) $3,000 and $1,500, respectively, for a student whose family income is below the poverty line; and (2) $1,500 and $750, respectively, for a student whose family income exceeds, but is not more than 185 percent of, the poverty line. Prohibits the use of any Federal funds for such scholarships until the District Council has approved the Corporation's plan for allocating funds between tuition and enhanced achievement scholarships. Requires the Corporation to allocate unrestricted private funds for such scholarships equitably.
(Sec. 2925) Sets forth application requirements for certification of eligible institutions to receive payments on behalf of students who receive such scholarships, including assurances that: (1) a student receiving a scholarship shall not be required to attend or participate in a religion class or a religious ceremony without a parent's consent; and (2) scholarship funds will not be used to pay costs related to such a class or ceremony. Provides for provisional certification of new institutions and revocation of eligibility.
(Sec. 2927) Deems such institutions to be recipients of Federal financial assistance for purposes of : (1) the Age Discrimination Act of 1964; (2) title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; (3) title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; and (4) section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Revokes program certification for an institution in violation of such laws.
(Sec. 2928) Provides that nothing in this Act shall affect the rights of students or the obligations of the District public schools under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Requires: (1) if requested by either a parent of a child with a disability who attends a private or independent school receiving funding under this Act or by such school receiving the funding, the Board to determine the eligibility of such child for IDEA services; and (2) if such child is determined to be eligible, the Board to develop an individualized education program for such child and to negotiate with the school to deliver to such child the services described in such program. Permits the child, as if he or she was attending a District public school, to retain the right to appeal under IDEA the Board's determination that the individual is ineligible for such services.
(Sec. 2929) Prohibits the low-income scholarships from being used for construction of facilities.
(Sec. 2930) Sets forth reporting requirements for eligible institutions participating in such program.
(Sec. 2933) Requires: (1) the Department of Education to provide for an independent evaluation of the scholarship program; and (2) the Corporation to report to the appropriate congressional committees annually on the program's progress.
(Sec. 2934) Vests jurisdiction in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia over any constitutional challenges to the scholarship program and requires the Court to provide expedited review.