Text: H.R.5033 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (06/27/2002)


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[Congressional Bills 107th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 5033 Introduced in House (IH)]







107th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 5033

    To provide scholarships for District of Columbia elementary and 
              secondary students, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             June 27, 2002

    Mr. Armey (for himself, Mr. Lipinski, Mr. Boehner, Mr. Watts of 
  Oklahoma, Mr. Hoekstra, Mr. Sam Johnson of Texas, Mr. Schaffer, Mr. 
Cox, Mr. Burton of Indiana, Mr. Crane, Mr. Flake, Mr. Manzullo, Mr. Dan 
 Miller of Florida, Mr. Pitts, Mr. Shadegg, Mr. Shays, Mr. Tiberi, Mr. 
Walsh, Mr. Weller, and Mr. Wicker) introduced the following bill; which 
           was referred to the Committee on Government Reform

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
    To provide scholarships for District of Columbia elementary and 
              secondary students, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE, FINDINGS, AND PRECEDENTS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``District of 
Columbia Student Opportunity Scholarship Act of 2002''.
    (b) Findings.--Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) Public education in the District of Columbia is in a 
        crisis, as evidenced by the following:
                    (A) The District of Columbia schools have the 
                lowest average of any school system in the Nation on 
                the National Assessment of Education Progress.
                    (B) 72 percent of fourth graders in the District of 
                Columbia tested below basic proficiency in reading on 
                the National Assessment of Education Progress in 1998.
                    (C) According to the District of Columbia's own 
                data, only 53 percent of District of Columbia public 
                school students in the 10th grade are reading at or 
                above the basic level.
                    (D) Only 28 percent of District of Columbia public 
                school students in the 10th grade test at or above the 
                basic level in mathematics.
                    (E) The National Education Goals Panel reported in 
                1996 that both students and teachers in District of 
                Columbia schools are subjected to levels of violence 
                that are twice the national average.
                    (F) In 1999, nearly one in five District of 
                Columbia high school students stated that, at some 
                point in the preceding month, they felt too unsafe to 
                go to school, while nearly one out of every seven 
                students admitted to bringing a weapon to school.
                    (G) Many of the District of Columbia's 146 schools 
                are in a state of terrible disrepair, including leaking 
                roofs, bitterly cold classrooms, and numerous fire code 
                violations.
            (2) Significant improvements in the education of 
        educationally deprived children in the District of Columbia can 
        be accomplished by--
                    (A) increasing educational opportunities for the 
                children by expanding the range of educational choices 
                that best meet the needs of the children;
                    (B) fostering diversity and competition among 
                school programs for the children;
                    (C) providing the families of the children more of 
                the educational choices already available to affluent 
                families; and
                    (D) enhancing the overall quality of education in 
                the District of Columbia by increasing parental 
                involvement in the direction of the education of the 
                children.
            (3) The 475 private schools in the District of Columbia and 
        the surrounding area offer a safer and more stable learning 
        environment than many of the public schools.
            (4) Costs are often much lower in private schools than 
        corresponding costs in public schools.
            (5) Not all children are alike and therefore there is no 
        one school or program that fits the needs of all children.
            (6) The formation of sound values and moral character is 
        crucial to helping young people escape from lives of poverty, 
        family breakup, drug abuse, crime, and school failure.
            (7) In addition to offering knowledge and skills, education 
        should contribute positively to the formation of the internal 
        norms and values which are vital to a child's success in life 
        and to the well-being of society.
            (8) Schools should help to provide young people with a 
        sound moral foundation which is consistent with the values of 
        their parents. To find such a school, parents need a full range 
        of choices to determine where their children can best be 
        educated.
    (c) Precedents.--The United States Supreme Court has determined 
that programs giving parents choice and increased input in their 
children's education, including the choice of a religious education, do 
not violate the Constitution. The Supreme Court has held that as long 
as the beneficiary decides where education funds will be spent on such 
individual's behalf, public funds can be used for education in a 
religious institution because the public entity has neither advanced 
nor hindered a particular religion, or religion in general, and 
therefore has not violated the establishment clause of the first 
amendment to the Constitution. Supreme Court precedents include the 
following:
            (1) Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972), Pierce v. 
        Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925), and Meyer v. Nebraska, 
        262 U.S. 390 (1923), which held that parents have the primary 
        role in and are the primary decision makers in all areas 
        regarding the education and upbringing of their children.
            (2) Mueller v. Allen, 463 U.S. 388 (1983), which declared a 
        Minnesota tax deduction program that provided State income tax 
        benefits for educational expenditures by parents, including 
        tuition in religiously affiliated schools, does not violate the 
        Constitution.
            (3) Witters v. Department of Services for the Blind, 474 
        U.S. 481 (1986), in which the Supreme Court ruled unanimously 
        that public funds for the vocational training of the blind 
        could be used at a Bible college for ministry training.
            (4) Zobrest v. Catalina Foothills School District, 509 U.S. 
        1 (1993), which held that a deaf child could receive an 
        interpreter, paid for by the public, in a private religiously 
        affiliated school under the Individuals with Disabilities 
        Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.). The case held that 
        providing an interpreter in a religiously affiliated school did 
        not violate the establishment clause of the first amendment of 
        the Constitution.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) The term ``Board'' means the Board of Directors of the 
        Corporation established under section 3(b)(1).
            (2) The term ``Corporation'' means the District of Columbia 
        Scholarship Corporation established under section 3(a).
            (3) The term ``eligible institution''--
                    (A) in the case of an institution serving a student 
                who receives a tuition scholarship under section 
                4(d)(1), means a public, private, or independent 
                elementary or secondary school; and
                    (B) in the case of an institution serving a student 
                who receives an enhanced achievement scholarship under 
                section 4(d)(2), means an elementary or secondary 
                school or an entity that provides services to a student 
                enrolled in an elementary or secondary school to 
                enhance such student's achievement through instruction 
                described in section 4(d)(2).
            (4) The term ``parent'' includes a legal guardian or other 
        person standing in loco parentis.
            (5) The term ``poverty line'' means the official poverty 
        line, as established by the Director of the Office of 
        Management and Budget and revised annually under section 673(2) 
        of the Community Services Block Grant Act (42 U.S.C. 9902(2)), 
        applicable to a family of the size involved.

SEC. 3. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP CORPORATION.

    (a) General Requirements.--
            (1) In general.--There is authorized to be established a 
        private, nonprofit corporation, to be known as the ``District 
        of Columbia Scholarship Corporation'', which is neither an 
        agency nor establishment of the United States Government or the 
        District of Columbia Government.
            (2) Duties.--The Corporation shall have the responsibility 
        and authority to administer, publicize, and evaluate the 
        scholarship program in accordance with this Act, and to 
        determine student and school eligibility for participation in 
        such program.
            (3) Consultation.--The Corporation shall exercise its 
        authority--
                    (A) in a manner consistent with maximizing 
                educational opportunities for the maximum number of 
                interested families; and
                    (B) in consultation with the District of Columbia 
                Board of Education or entity exercising administrative 
                jurisdiction over the District of Columbia Public 
                Schools, the Superintendent of the District of Columbia 
                Public Schools, and other school scholarship programs 
                in the District of Columbia.
            (4) Application of provisions.--The Corporation shall be 
        subject to the provisions of this Act, and, to the extent 
        consistent with this Act, to the District of Columbia Nonprofit 
        Corporation Act (sec. 29-301.01 et seq., D.C. Official Code).
            (5) Residence.--The Corporation shall have its place of 
        business in the District of Columbia and shall be considered, 
        for purposes of venue in civil actions, to be a resident of the 
        District of Columbia.
            (6) Fund.--There is established in the Treasury a fund that 
        shall be known as the District of Columbia Scholarship Fund, to 
        be administered by the Secretary of the Treasury.
            (7) Disbursement.--The Secretary of the Treasury shall make 
        available and disburse to the Corporation, before October 15 of 
        each fiscal year or not later than 15 days after the date of 
        enactment of an Act making appropriations for the District of 
        Columbia for such year, whichever occurs later, such funds as 
        have been appropriated to the District of Columbia Scholarship 
        Fund for the fiscal year in which such disbursement is made.
            (8) Availability.--Funds authorized to be appropriated 
        under this Act shall remain available until expended.
            (9) Uses.--Funds authorized to be appropriated under this 
        Act shall be used by the Corporation in a prudent and 
        financially responsible manner, solely for scholarships, 
        contracts, and administrative costs.
            (10) Authorization of appropriations.--
                    (A) In general.--There are authorized to be 
                appropriated to the District of Columbia Scholarship 
                Fund--
                            (i) $7,000,000 for fiscal year 2003;
                            (ii) $8,000,000 for fiscal year 2004; and
                            (iii) $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 
                        2005 through 2007.
                    (B) Limitation.--Not more than 7.5 percent of the 
                amount appropriated to carry out this Act for any 
                fiscal year may be used by the Corporation for salaries 
                and administrative costs.
    (b) Organization and Management; Board of Directors.--
            (1) Board of directors; membership.--
                    (A) In general.--The Corporation shall have a Board 
                of Directors (hereinafter in this Act referred to as 
                the ``Board''), comprised of seven members, with six 
                members of the Board appointed by the President not 
                later than 30 days after receipt of nominations from 
                the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the 
                President pro tempore of the Senate.
                    (B) House nominations.--The President shall appoint 
                three of the members from a list of nine individuals 
                nominated by the Speaker of the House of 
                Representatives in consultation with the minority 
                leader of the House of Representatives.
                    (C) Senate nominations.--The President shall 
                appoint three members from a list of nine individuals 
                nominated by the President pro tempore of the Senate in 
                consultation with the minority leader of the Senate.
                    (D) Deadline.--The Speaker of the House of 
                Representatives and Majority Leader of the Senate shall 
                submit their nominations to the President not later 
                than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this 
                Act.
                    (E) Appointee by mayor.--The Mayor of the District 
                of Columbia shall appoint one member of the Board not 
                later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of 
                this Act.
                    (F) Possible interim members.--If the President 
                does not appoint the six members of the Board in the 
                30-day period described in subparagraph (A), then the 
                Speaker of the House of Representatives and the 
                President pro tempore of the Senate shall each appoint 
                two members of the Board, and the minority leader of 
                the House of Representatives and the minority leader of 
                the Senate shall each appoint one member of the Board, 
                from among the individuals nominated under 
                subparagraphs (A) and (B), as the case may be. The 
                appointees under the preceding sentence together with 
                the appointee of the Mayor of the District of Columbia, 
                shall serve as an interim Board with all the powers and 
                other duties of the Board described in this Act, until 
                the President makes the appointments as described in 
                this subsection.
            (2) Powers.--All powers of the Corporation shall vest in 
        and be exercised under the authority of the Board.
            (3) Elections.--Members of the Board annually shall elect 
        one of the members of the Board to be the Chairperson of the 
        Board.
            (4) Residency.--All members appointed to the Board shall be 
        residents of the District of Columbia at the time of 
        appointment and while serving on the Board.
            (5) Nonemployee.--No member of the Board may be an employee 
        of the United States Government or the District of Columbia 
        Government when appointed to or during tenure on the Board, 
        unless the individual is on a leave of absence from such a 
        position while serving on the Board.
            (6) Incorporation.--The members of the initial Board shall 
        serve as incorporators and shall take whatever steps are 
        necessary to establish the Corporation under the District of 
        Columbia Nonprofit Corporation Act (sec. 29-301.01 et seq., 
        D.C. Official Code).
            (7) General term.--The term of office of each member of the 
        Board shall be 5 years, except that any member appointed to 
        fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term 
        for which the predecessor was appointed shall be appointed for 
        the remainder of such term.
            (8) Consecutive term.--No member of the Board shall be 
        eligible to serve in excess of two consecutive terms of 5 years 
        each. A partial term shall be considered as one full term. Any 
        vacancy on the Board shall not affect the Board's power, but 
        shall be filled in a manner consistent with this Act.
            (9) No benefit.--No part of the income or assets of the 
        Corporation shall inure to the benefit of any Director, 
        officer, or employee of the Corporation, except as salary or 
        reasonable compensation for services.
            (10) Political activity.--The Corporation may not 
        contribute to or otherwise support any political party or 
        candidate for elective public office.
            (11) Not officers or employees.--The members of the Board 
        shall not, by reason of such membership, be considered to be 
        officers or employees of the United States Government or of the 
        District of Columbia Government.
            (12) Stipends.--The members of the Board, while attending 
        meetings of the Board or while engaged in duties related to 
        such meetings or other activities of the Board pursuant to this 
        Act, shall be provided a stipend. Such stipend shall be at the 
        rate of $150 per day for which the member of the Board is 
        officially recorded as having worked, except that no member may 
        be paid a total stipend amount in any calendar year in excess 
        of $5,000.
    (c) Officers and Staff.--
            (1) Executive director.--The Corporation shall have an 
        executive director, and such other staff, as may be appointed 
        by the Board for terms and at rates of compensation, not to 
        exceed level EG-16 of the Educational Service of the District 
        of Columbia, to be fixed by the Board.
            (2) Staff.--With the approval of the Board, the executive 
        director may appoint and fix the salary of such additional 
        personnel as the executive director considers appropriate.
            (3) Annual rate.--No staff of the Corporation may be 
        compensated by the Corporation at an annual rate of pay greater 
        than the annual rate of pay of the executive director.
            (4) Service.--All officers and employees of the Corporation 
        shall serve at the pleasure of the Board.
            (5) Qualification.--No political test or qualification may 
        be used in selecting, appointing, promoting, or taking other 
        personnel actions with respect to officers, agents, or 
        employees of the Corporation.
    (d) Powers of the Corporation.--
            (1) Generally.--The Corporation is authorized to obtain 
        grants from, and make contracts with, individuals and with 
        private, State, and Federal agencies, organizations, and 
        institutions.
            (2) Hiring authority.--The Corporation may hire, or accept 
        the voluntary services of, consultants, experts, advisory 
boards, and panels to aid the Corporation in carrying out this Act.
    (e) Financial Management and Records.--
            (1) Audits.--The financial statements of the Corporation 
        shall be--
                    (A) maintained in accordance with generally 
                accepted accounting principles for nonprofit 
                corporations; and
                    (B) audited annually by independent certified 
                public accountants.
            (2) Report.--The report for each such audit shall be 
        included in the annual report to Congress required by section 
        11(c).
    (f) Administrative Responsibilities.--
            (1) Scholarship application schedule and procedures.--Not 
        later than 30 days after the initial Board is appointed and the 
        first executive director of the Corporation is hired under this 
        Act, the Corporation shall implement a schedule and procedures 
        for processing applications for, and awarding, student 
        scholarships under this Act. The schedule and procedures shall 
        include establishing a list of certified eligible institutions 
        located in the areas specified in section 4(d)(1)), 
        distributing scholarship information to parents and the general 
        public (including through a newspaper of general circulation), 
        and establishing deadlines for steps in the scholarship 
        application and award process.
            (2) Institutional applications and eligibility.--
                    (A) In general.--An eligible institution that 
                desires to participate in the scholarship program under 
                this Act shall file an application with the Corporation 
                for certification for participation in the scholarship 
                program under this Act that shall--
                            (i) demonstrate that the eligible 
                        institution has operated with not fewer than 25 
                        students during the 3 years preceding the year 
                        for which the determination is made unless the 
                        eligible institution is applying for 
                        certification as a new eligible institution 
                        under subparagraph (C);
                            (ii) contain an assurance that the eligible 
                        institution will comply with all applicable 
                        requirements of this Act;
                            (iii) contain an annual statement of the 
                        eligible institution's budget; and
                            (iv) describe the eligible institution's 
                        proposed program, including personnel 
                        qualifications and fees.
                    (B) Certification.--
                            (i) In general.--Except as provided in 
                        subparagraph (C), not later than 60 days after 
                        receipt of an application in accordance with 
                        subparagraph (A), the Corporation shall certify 
                        an eligible institution to participate in the 
                        scholarship program under this Act.
                            (ii) Continuation.--An eligible 
                        institution's certification to participate in 
                        the scholarship program shall continue unless 
                        such eligible institution's certification is 
                        revoked in accordance with subparagraph (D).
                    (C) New eligible institution.--
                            (i) In general.--An eligible institution 
                        that did not operate with at least 25 students 
                        in the 3 years preceding the year for which the 
                        determination is made may apply for a 1-year 
                        provisional certification to participate in the 
                        scholarship program under this Act for a single 
                        year by providing to the Corporation not later 
                        than July 1 of the year preceding the year for 
                        which the determination is made--
                                    (I) a list of the eligible 
                                institution's board of directors;
                                    (II) letters of support from not 
                                less than 10 members of the community 
                                served by such eligible institution;
                                    (III) a business plan;
                                    (IV) an intended course of study;
                                    (V) assurances that the eligible 
                                institution will begin operations with 
                                not less than 25 students;
                                    (VI) assurances that the eligible 
                                institution will comply with all 
                                applicable requirements of this Act; 
                                and
                                    (VII) a statement that satisfies 
                                the requirements of clauses (ii) and 
                                (iv) of subparagraph (A).
                            (ii) Certification.--Not later than 60 days 
                        after the date of receipt of an application 
                        described in clause (i), the Corporation shall 
                        certify in writing the eligible institution's 
                        provisional certification to participate in the 
                        scholarship program under this Act unless the 
                        Corporation determines that good cause exists 
                        to deny certification.
                            (iii) Renewal of provisional 
                        certification.--After receipt of an application 
                        under clause (i) from an eligible institution 
                        that includes a statement of the eligible 
                        institution's budget completed not earlier than 
                        12 months before the date such application is 
                        filed, the Corporation shall renew an eligible 
                        institution's provisional certification for the 
                        second and third years of the school's 
                        participation in the scholarship program under 
                        this Act unless the Corporation finds--
                                    (I) good cause to deny the renewal, 
                                including a finding of a pattern of 
                                violation of requirements described in 
                                paragraph (3)(A); or
                                    (II) consistent failure of 25 
                                percent or more of the students 
                                receiving scholarships under this Act 
                                and attending such school to make 
                                appropriate progress (as determined by 
                                the Corporation) in academic 
achievement.
                            (iv) Denial of certification.--If 
                        provisional certification or renewal of 
                        provisional certification under this subsection 
                        is denied, then the Corporation shall provide a 
                        written explanation to the eligible institution 
                        of the reasons for such denial.
                    (D) Revocation of eligibility.--
                            (i) In general.--The Corporation, after 
                        notice and opportunity for a hearing, may 
                        revoke an eligible institution's certification 
                        to participate in the scholarship program under 
                        this Act for a year succeeding the year for 
                        which the determination is made for--
                                    (I) good cause, including a finding 
                                of a pattern of violation of program 
                                requirements described in paragraph 
                                (3)(A); or
                                    (II) consistent failure of 25 
                                percent or more of the students 
                                receiving scholarships under this Act 
                                and attending such school to make 
                                appropriate progress (as determined by 
                                the Corporation) in academic 
                                achievement.
                            (ii) Explanation.--If the certification of 
                        an eligible institution is revoked, the 
                        Corporation shall provide a written explanation 
                        of the Corporation's decision to such eligible 
                        institution and require a pro rata refund of 
                        the proceeds of the scholarship funds received 
                        under this Act.
                            (iii) Student eligibility not affected.--A 
                        student receiving a scholarship under this Act 
                        who attends an institution that has had its 
                        eligibility revoked under this subparagraph may 
                        utilize such scholarship at another eligible 
                        institution.
            (3) Participation requirements for eligible institutions.--
                    (A) Requirements.--Each eligible institution 
                participating in the scholarship program under this Act 
                shall--
                            (i) provide to the Corporation not later 
                        than June 30 of each year the most recent 
                        annual statement of the eligible institution's 
                        budget; and
                            (ii) charge a student that receives a 
                        scholarship under this Act not more than the 
                        cost of tuition and mandatory fees for, and (as 
                        appropriate) transportation to attend, such 
                        eligible institution as other students who are 
                        residents of the District of Columbia and 
                        enrolled in such eligible institution.
                    (B) Compliance.--The Corporation may require 
                documentation of compliance with the requirements of 
                subparagraph (A), but neither the Corporation nor any 
                governmental entity may impose requirements upon an 
                eligible institution as a condition for participation 
                in the scholarship program under this Act, other than 
                requirements established under this Act.

SEC. 4. SCHOLARSHIPS AUTHORIZED.

    (a) Eligible Students.--The Corporation may award tuition 
scholarships under subsection (d)(1) and enhanced achievement 
scholarships under subsection (d)(2) to students in kindergarten 
through grade 12--
            (1) who are residents of the District of Columbia; and
            (2) whose family income does not exceed 185 percent of the 
        poverty line.
    (b) Scholarship Priority.--Subject to subsection (c), the 
Corporation shall award scholarships based on the following priorities:
            (1) Previous scholarship recipients.--For the second and 
        subsequent academic years for which scholarships are awarded, 
        the Corporation first shall award scholarships to students 
        eligible under subsection (a) who received a scholarship from 
        the Corporation in the preceding academic year.
            (2) District of columbia public school enrollees.--For the 
        first three academic years for which scholarships are awarded, 
        if funds remain after the application of paragraph (1), the 
        Corporation shall award scholarships to eligible students who 
        do not receive an award under such paragraph and who are--
                    (A) enrolled in a District of Columbia public 
                school; or
                    (B) preparing to enter a District of Columbia 
                public kindergarten.
            (3) Victims of school violence.--For any academic year, if 
        funds remain available after the application of paragraphs (1) 
        and (2), the Corporation shall award scholarships to eligible 
        students who do not receive an award under such paragraphs and 
        who have been victims of a documented violent act on school 
        grounds.
            (4) Other eligible students.--For any academic year, if 
        funds remain available after the application of paragraphs (1) 
        through (3), the Corporation shall award scholarships to 
        eligible students who do not receive an award under such 
        paragraphs.
    (c) Lottery Selection.--If, in applying subsection (b), the number 
of students described in a paragraph of such subsection is such that 
the amount available is insufficient to award the appropriate 
scholarship amount to each such student, the Corporation shall select 
by lottery the students who will receive an award.
    (d) Use of Scholarship.--
            (1) Tuition scholarships.--A tuition scholarship may be 
        used for the payment of the cost of the tuition and mandatory 
        fees for, and (as appropriate) transportation to attend, an 
        eligible institution located within the geographic boundaries 
        of--
                    (A) the District of Columbia;
                    (B) Montgomery County, Maryland;
                    (C) Prince George's County, Maryland;
                    (D) Arlington County, Virginia;
                    (E) Alexandria City, Virginia;
                    (F) Falls Church City, Virginia;
                    (G) Fairfax City, Virginia; or
                    (H) Fairfax County, Virginia.
            (2) Enhanced achievement scholarship.--An enhanced 
        achievement scholarship may be used only for the payment of the 
        costs of tuition and mandatory fees for, and (as appropriate) 
        transportation to attend, a program of instruction provided by 
        an eligible institution which enhances student achievement of 
        the core curriculum and is operated outside of regular school 
        hours to supplement the regular school program.
    (e) Not School Aid.--A scholarship under this Act shall be 
considered assistance to the student and shall not be considered 
assistance to an eligible institution.

SEC. 5. SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS.

    (a) Awards.--From the funds made available under this Act, the 
Corporation shall award a scholarship to a student and make scholarship 
payments in accordance with section 6.
    (b) Notification.--Each eligible institution that receives the 
proceeds of a scholarship payment under subsection (a) shall provide 
the following notifications:
            (1) Enrollment.--Not later than 10 days after the date that 
        a student receiving a scholarship under this Act is enrolled, 
        the institution shall notify the Corporation of the name, 
        address, and grade level of such student.
            (2) Withdrawal or expulsion.--Not later than 10 days after 
        the date of the withdrawal or expulsion of any student 
        receiving a scholarship under this Act, the institution shall 
        notify the Corporation of the withdrawal or expulsion.
            (3) Refusal of admission.--Not later than 10 days after the 
        date that a student receiving a scholarship under this Act is 
        refused admission, the institution shall notify the Corporation 
        of the reasons for such a refusal.
    (c) Tuition Scholarship.--
            (1) Equal to or below poverty line.--For a student whose 
        family income is equal to or below the poverty line, a tuition 
        scholarship may not exceed the lesser of--
                    (A) the cost of tuition and mandatory fees for, and 
                (as appropriate) transportation to attend, an eligible 
                institution; or
                    (B) $5,000 for fiscal year 2003, with such amount 
                adjusted in proportion to changes in the Consumer Price 
                Index for All Urban Consumers published by the 
                Department of Labor for each of fiscal years 2004 
                through 2007.
            (2) Above poverty line.--For a student whose family income 
        is greater than the poverty line, but not more than 185 percent 
        of the poverty line, a tuition scholarship may not exceed the 
        lesser of--
                    (A) 75 percent of the cost of tuition and mandatory 
                fees for, and (as appropriate) transportation to 
                attend, an eligible institution; or
                    (B) $3,750 for fiscal year 2003, with such amount 
                adjusted in proportion to changes in the Consumer Price 
                Index for All Urban Consumers published by the 
                Department of Labor for each of fiscal years 2004 
                through 2007.
    (d) Enhanced Achievement Scholarship.--An enhanced achievement 
scholarship may not exceed the lesser of--
            (1) the costs of tuition and mandatory fees for, and (as 
        appropriate) transportation to attend, a program of instruction 
        at an eligible institution; or
            (2) $800 for 2003, with such amount adjusted in proportion 
        to changes in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers 
        published by the Department of Labor for each of fiscal years 
        2004 through 2007.

SEC. 6. SCHOLARSHIP PAYMENTS.

    (a) Payments.--The Corporation shall make scholarship payments to 
the parent of a student awarded a scholarship under this Act.
    (b) Distribution of Scholarship Funds.--Scholarship funds may be 
distributed by check, or another form of disbursement, issued by the 
Corporation and made payable directly to a parent of a student awarded 
a scholarship under this Act. The parent may use the scholarship funds 
only for payment of tuition, mandatory fees, and transportation costs 
as described in this Act.
    (c) Pro Rata Amounts for Student Withdrawal.--If a student 
receiving a scholarship under this Act withdraws or is expelled from an 
eligible institution after the proceeds of a scholarship is paid to the 
eligible institution, then the eligible institution shall refund to the 
Corporation on a pro rata basis the proportion of any such proceeds 
received for the remaining days of the school year. Such refund shall 
occur not later than 30 days after the date of the withdrawal or 
expulsion of the student.

SEC. 7. CIVIL RIGHTS.

    (a) In General.--An eligible institution participating in the 
scholarship program under this Act shall not discriminate on the basis 
of race, color, national origin, or sex in carrying out the provisions 
of this Act.
    (b) Applicability and Construction With Respect to Discrimination 
on the Basis of Sex.--
            (1) Applicability.--With respect to discrimination on the 
        basis of sex, subsection (a) shall not apply to an eligible 
        institution that is controlled by a religious organization if 
        the application of subsection (a) is inconsistent with the 
        religious tenets of the eligible institution.
            (2) Construction.--With respect to discrimination on the 
        basis of sex, nothing in subsection (a) shall be construed to 
        require any person, or public or private entity to provide or 
        pay, or to prohibit any such person or entity from providing or 
        paying, for any benefit or service, including the use of 
        facilities, related to an abortion. Nothing in the preceding 
        sentence shall be construed to permit a penalty to be imposed 
        on any person or individual because such person or individual 
        is seeking or has received any benefit or service related to a 
        legal abortion.
            (3) Single-sex schools, classes, or activities.--With 
        respect to discrimination on the basis of sex, nothing in 
        subsection (a) shall be construed to prevent a parent from 
        choosing, or an eligible institution from offering, a single-
        sex school, class, or activity.
    (c) Revocation.--Notwithstanding section 3(f)(2)(D), if the 
Corporation determines that an eligible institution participating in 
the scholarship program under this Act is in violation of subsection 
(a), then the Corporation shall revoke such eligible institution's 
certification to participate in the program.

SEC. 8. CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES.

    Nothing in this Act shall affect the rights of students, or the 
obligations of the District of Columbia public schools, under the 
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.).

SEC. 9. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.

    (a) In General.--Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prevent 
any eligible institution which is operated by, supervised by, 
controlled by, or connected to, a religious organization from 
employing, admitting, or giving preference to, persons of the same 
religion to the extent determined by such institution to promote the 
religious purpose for which the eligible institution is established or 
maintained.
    (b) Sectarian Purposes.--Nothing in this Act shall be construed to 
prohibit the use of funds made available under this Act for sectarian 
educational purposes, or to require an eligible institution to remove 
religious art, icons, scripture, or other symbols.

SEC. 10. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS.

    (a) In General.--An eligible institution participating in the 
scholarship program under this Act shall report to the Corporation not 
later than July 30 of each year in a manner prescribed by the 
Corporation, the following data:
            (1) Student achievement in the eligible institution's 
        programs.
            (2) Grade advancement for scholarship students.
            (3) Disciplinary actions taken with respect to scholarship 
        students.
            (4) Graduation, college admission test scores, and college 
        admission rates, if applicable for scholarship students.
            (5) Types and amounts of parental involvement required for 
        all families of scholarship students.
            (6) Student attendance for scholarship and nonscholarship 
        students.
            (7) General information on curriculum, programs, 
        facilities, credentials of personnel, and disciplinary rules at 
        the eligible institution.
            (8) Number of scholarship students enrolled.
            (9) Such other information as may be required by the 
        Corporation for program appraisal.
    (b) Confidentiality.--No personal identifiers may be used in such 
report, except that the Corporation may request such personal 
identifiers solely for the purpose of verification.

SEC. 11. PROGRAM APPRAISAL.

    (a) Study.--Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the Comptroller General shall enter into a contract, with an 
evaluating agency that has demonstrated experience in conducting 
evaluations, for an independent evaluation of the scholarship program 
under this Act, including--
            (1) a comparison of test scores between scholarship 
        students and District of Columbia public school students of 
        similar backgrounds, taking into account the students' academic 
        achievement at the time of the award of their scholarships and 
        the students' family income level;
            (2) a comparison of graduation rates between scholarship 
        students and District of Columbia public school students of 
        similar backgrounds, taking into account the students' academic 
        achievement at the time of the award of their scholarships and 
        the students' family income level;
            (3) the satisfaction of parents of scholarship students 
        with the scholarship program; and
            (4) the impact of the scholarship program on the District 
        of Columbia public schools, including changes in the public 
        school enrollment, and any improvement in the academic 
        performance of the public schools.
    (b) Public Review of Data.--All data gathered in the course of the 
study described in subsection (a) shall be made available to the public 
upon request except that no personal identifiers shall be made public.
    (c) Report to Congress.--Not later than September 1 of each year, 
the Corporation shall submit a progress report on the scholarship 
program to the appropriate committees of Congress. Such report shall 
include a review of how scholarship funds were expended, including the 
initial academic achievement levels of students who have participated 
in the scholarship program.
    (d) Authorization.--There are authorized to be appropriated for the 
study described in subsection (a), $250,000, which shall remain 
available until expended.

SEC. 12. JUDICIAL REVIEW.

    (a) Jurisdiction.--
            (1) In general.--The United States District Court for the 
        District of Columbia shall have jurisdiction in any action 
        challenging the constitutionality of the scholarship program 
        under this Act and shall provide expedited review.
            (2) Standing.--The parent of any student eligible to 
        receive a scholarship under this Act shall have standing in an 
        action challenging the constitutionality of the scholarship 
        program under this Act.
    (b) Appeal to Supreme Court.--Notwithstanding any other provision 
of law, any order of the United States District Court for the District 
of Columbia which is issued pursuant to an action brought under 
subsection (a) shall be reviewable by appeal directly to the Supreme 
Court of the United States.

SEC. 13. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    This Act shall be effective for each of fiscal years 2003 through 
2007.
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