Text: H.R.4097 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (10/20/2005)


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[Congressional Bills 109th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 4097 Introduced in House (IH)]







109th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 4097

 To direct the Secretary of Education to establish a Family Education 
 Reimbursement Account Program to assist hurricane displaced students 
       during the 2005-2006 school year, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            October 20, 2005

  Mr. Boehner (for himself, Mr. Blunt, Mr. Jindal, Mr. Sam Johnson of 
  Texas, Mr. Wilson of South Carolina, Mr. Kline, Mrs. Musgrave, Miss 
   McMorris, Mr. Marchant, Mr. Fortuno, Mr. Boustany, Ms. Foxx, Mrs. 
 Drake, Mr. Bartlett of Maryland, Mr. Hoekstra, Mr. Weldon of Florida, 
Mr. Wicker, Mr. Brady of Texas, Mr. Pitts, Mr. Sessions, Mr. Culberson, 
Mr. Burgess, Mr. Cole of Oklahoma, Mr. Franks of Arizona, Mr. Gingrey, 
  Mr. McHenry, Mr. Poe, and Mr. DeLay) introduced the following bill; 
   which was referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To direct the Secretary of Education to establish a Family Education 
 Reimbursement Account Program to assist hurricane displaced students 
       during the 2005-2006 school year, 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.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Family Education Reimbursement Act 
of 2005''.

SEC. 2. FAMILY EDUCATION REIMBURSEMENT ACCOUNTS.

    (a) Establishment.--The Secretary of Education, in consultation 
with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall--
            (1) establish a Family Education Reimbursement Account 
        Program under which, at the direction of the parent of each 
        displaced student who signs up under subsection (d), the 
        Secretary provides reimbursement to enable the student or 
        preschool-age child to attend the school or preschool program 
        of his or her parent's choice during the 2005-2006 school year;
            (2) of the amount available to carry out this section for 
        fiscal year 2006, use not more than one third of one percent of 
        such amount for administrative expenses, including outreach, 
        support services, and dissemination of information; and
            (3) contract with a nongovernmental entity to administer 
        and operate the program.
    (b) Reimbursement.--
            (1) In general.--In carrying out this section, the 
        Secretary--
                    (A) shall allow the parent of the participating 
                displaced student to select the school or preschool 
                program to be attended by the student during the 2005-
                2006 school year;
                    (B) at the direction of the parent, shall provide 
                reimbursement to that school or preschool program on a 
                quarterly basis; and
                    (C) in the case of a public school, may provide 
                such reimbursement to the appropriate local fiscal 
                agent for the school.
            (2) Amount.--In providing reimbursement under paragraph 
        (1), the Secretary shall--
                    (A) determine the amount of reimbursement to a 
                school or preschool program based on the number of 
                weeks during which the participating displaced student 
                attended the school or preschool program during the 
                preceding quarter;
                    (B) subject to subparagraph (C), provide the same 
                amount of reimbursement to each school and preschool 
                program for each week of attendance by one 
                participating displaced student;
                    (C) not provide reimbursement that exceeds the 
                actual cost of the school for educating students, or 
                the actual cost of the preschool program, for the same 
                period for students who are not displaced students;
                    (D) not provide reimbursement of more than $6,700 
                on behalf of any student for the 2005-2006 school year; 
                and
                    (E) discontinue reimbursement once a displaced 
                student returns to the school he or she attended prior 
                to August 29, 2005.
            (3) Use of funds.--The Secretary may provide reimbursement 
        under paragraph (1) on behalf of a displaced student only if 
        the school or preschool program involved agrees--
                    (A) to use the reimbursement for providing 
                educational and other services to the displaced 
                student; and
                    (B) not to use the reimbursement for the 
                construction or renovation of facilities.
    (c) Accounting of Funds.--The Secretary shall provide an 
appropriate accounting of funds for each school or program that 
receives a payment on behalf of one or more participating displaced 
students under this section.
    (d) Registration.--
            (1) In general.--To seek to participate in the program 
        under this section, the parent of a displaced student shall 
        sign up by means of the Internet site, toll-free telephone 
        number, or paper form developed under subsection (e).
            (2) Account numbers.--Upon completion of registration for 
        the program under this section--
                    (A) the displaced student shall be assigned an 
                account number; and
                    (B) the account number shall be made available to 
                the parent of the student.
            (3) Families.--If a parent has more than one child who is a 
        displaced student--
                    (A) the parent shall be allowed to register each 
                child under this subsection at the same time; and
                    (B) the same account number under paragraph (2) 
                shall be provided to each child.
    (e) FERA System Development and Establishment.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary shall develop and implement 
        a web-based system--
                    (A) to support the registration in the program 
                under this section of displaced students by means of an 
                Internet site, toll-free telephone number, or paper 
                form; and
                    (B) to facilitate the timely payment of funds from 
                the accounts of families participating in the program 
                under this section to the school or preschool program 
                authorized to be reimbursed for educational and other 
                services rendered.
            (2) System requirements.--
                    (A) Internet site; toll-free telephone number; 
                paper form.--The Internet site and toll-free telephone 
                number developed pursuant to paragraph (1)--
                            (i) shall be integrated with each other;
                            (ii) shall, with respect to the toll-free 
                        telephone number, not be fully automated;
                            (iii) shall be operational not later than 2 
                        weeks after the date of the enactment of this 
                        section;
                            (iv) shall include privacy controls, 
                        consistent with section 444 of the General 
                        Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g);
                            (v) shall be accessible to participating 
                        displaced students and their parents for the 
                        purpose of determining--
                                    (I) the amount expended under this 
                                section on the student's behalf to 
                                date; and
                                    (II) the amount remaining for 
                                expenditure under this section on the 
                                student's behalf;
                            (vi) shall be accessible to schools and 
                        preschool programs for the purpose of 
                        facilitating reimbursement under subsection 
                        (b);
                            (vii) shall support non-English speaking 
                        parents by providing information and 
                        registration in an understandable and uniform 
                        format and, to the extent practicable, in a 
                        language the parents can understand;
                            (viii) may use existing Federal grant 
                        management and electronic payment systems;
                            (ix) shall include information technology 
                        and other controls necessary to prevent fraud 
                        and overpayment, including mechanisms to 
                        validate family and school information; and
                            (x) shall provide technical support 
                        services (including support for registration 
                        and processing of accounts) to the families of 
                        participating displaced students and the 
                        schools and preschool programs in which the 
                        students are enrolled.
                    (B) Payment system.--The Secretary shall ensure 
                that--
                            (i) the payment system required to carry 
                        out this section is operational not later than 
                        4 weeks after the date of the enactment of this 
                        section; and
                            (ii) the first disbursements under this 
                        section are made not later than 5 weeks after 
                        the date of the enactment of this section.
            (3) Contractor requirements.--The Secretary shall award the 
        contract required by subsection (a)(3) to a nongovernmental 
        entity that--
                    (A) has experience meeting the requirements 
                described in paragraph (2)(A);
                    (B) demonstrates expertise in the development and 
                operation of information technology infrastructures, 
                including the manufacture and supply of hardware and 
                software, information management, electronic fund 
                transfer payment systems, and customer relations 
                management and outreach;
                    (C) demonstrates significant experience in the 
                development, implementation, and technical support for 
                payment management systems operated by agencies of the 
                Federal Government, including the Department of 
                Education and the Department of Health and Human 
                Services; and
                    (D) is based, and operates help desk services, in 
                the United States.
    (f) Transferring Students.--
            (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), the Secretary 
        shall continue to provide reimbursement under this section on 
        behalf of a participating displaced student who transfers to 
        one or more schools or preschool programs during the 2005-2006 
        school year.
            (2) Exception.--The Secretary shall not provide 
        reimbursement under this section on behalf of a participating 
        displaced student with respect to any school or preschool 
        program which the student attends for less than 2 consecutive 
        weeks during the 2005-2006 school year.
    (g) Additional Amount for Administrative Expenses.--In providing 
reimbursement to an entity under this section--
            (1) the Secretary shall include an additional amount equal 
        to 1 percent of the total amount of such reimbursement to the 
        entity for the purpose of defraying administrative expenses;
            (2) such additional amount shall not be counted for 
        purposes of the maximum reimbursement amount specified in 
        subsections (b)(2)(C) and (b)(2)(D); and
            (3) of the amount specified in subsections (b)(2)(C) and 
        (b)(2)(D), 100 percent of such amount shall be made available 
        to the school or preschool program.
    (h) Procurement.--For purposes of the contract required by 
subsection (a)(3), the following provisions of Federal acquisition law 
shall not apply:
            (1) Title III of the Federal Property and Administrative 
        Services Act of 1949 (41 U.S.C. 251 et seq.).
            (2) The Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 
        403 et seq.).
            (3) The Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 
        (Public Law 103-355).
            (4) The Competition in Contracting Act.
            (5) Subchapter V of chapter 35 of title 31, relating to the 
        procurement protest system.
            (6) The Federal Acquisition Regulation and any laws not 
        listed in paragraphs (1) through (5) providing authority to 
        promulgate regulations in the Federal Acquisition Regulation.
    (i) Audit.--The Secretary may provide reimbursement under this 
section to a school or program on behalf of a displaced student only if 
the school or program agrees to allow the Secretary to conduct an audit 
to review and verify that the school or program is using the 
reimbursement in accordance with subsection (b)(3).
    (j) Nondiscrimination.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary may provide reimbursement 
        under this section to a school or preschool program only if the 
        school or program agrees not to discriminate against 
        participating displaced students (including applicants) on the 
        basis of race, color, national origin, religion, or sex.
            (2) Applicability and single sex schools, classes, or 
        activities.--
                    (A) In general.--Notwithstanding any other 
                provision of law, the prohibition of sex discrimination 
                in paragraph (1) shall not apply to a school or 
                preschool program that is operated by, supervised by, 
                controlled by, or connected to a religious organization 
                to the extent that the application of paragraph (1) is 
                inconsistent with the religious tenets or beliefs of 
                the school or program.
                    (B) Single sex schools, classes, or activities.--
                Notwithstanding paragraph (1) or any other provision of 
                law, a parent may choose and a school may offer a 
                single sex school, class, or activity.
            (3) Children with disabilities.--Nothing in this section 
        may be construed to alter or modify the provisions of the 
        Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
            (4) Religiously affiliated schools.--
                    (A) In general.--Notwithstanding any other 
                provision of law, a school or preschool program 
                receiving reimbursement under this section that is 
                operated by, supervised by, controlled by, or connected 
                to, a religious organization may exercise its right in 
                matters of employment consistent with title VII of the 
                Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e-1 et seq.), 
                including the exemptions in such title.
                    (B) Maintenance of purpose.--Notwithstanding any 
                other provision of law, funds made available under this 
                section on behalf of participating displaced students 
                that are received by a school or preschool program, as 
                a result of their parents' choice, shall not, 
                consistent with the first amendment of the United 
                States Constitution, necessitate any change in the 
                school or program's teaching mission, require any 
                school or program to remove religious art, icons, 
                scriptures, or other symbols, or preclude any school or 
                program from retaining religious terms in its name, 
                selecting its board members on a religious basis, or 
                including religious references in its mission 
                statements and other chartering or governing documents.
            (5) Rule of construction.--Reimbursement (or any other form 
        of support provided on behalf of participating displaced 
        students) under this section shall be considered assistance to 
        the student and shall not be considered assistance to the 
        school or preschool program that enrolls the student.
    (k) Reports.--At the end of each quarter described in subsection 
(b)(2)(A), the Secretary shall submit a report to the appropriate 
committees of the Congress describing the implementation and results of 
the program under this section. Such report shall--
            (1) specify the number of children served, the percentage 
        of funds used on instructional activities, and the percentage 
        of funds used for supplemental educational services; and
            (2) include information on the mobility of displaced 
        students.
    (l) Definitions.--In this section:
            (1) The term ``displaced student'' means a student who is 
        at least 4 years old, has not completed 12th grade, and would 
        have attended another school or preschool program during the 
        2005-2006 school year, but for the fact that--
                    (A) the school, the program, or the surrounding 
                area was damaged by a Gulf hurricane disaster; and
                    (B) the school or program could not reopen shortly 
                after the disaster.
            (2) The term ``Gulf hurricane disaster'' means a major 
        disaster that was declared to exist by the President, in 
        accordance with section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster 
        Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170), and was 
        caused by Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Rita.
            (3) The term ``parent'' has the meaning given to that term 
        in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act 
        of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801).
            (4) The term ``participating displaced student'' means a 
        displaced student participating in the program under this 
        section.
            (5) The term ``preschool program'' means a public or 
        private program serving 4 or 5 year old children, including any 
        such Head Start program, that is in compliance with applicable 
        State health and safety requirements.
            (6) The term ``school'' means a public or private 
        elementary school or secondary school (as those terms are 
        defined in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary 
        Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801)), including a religious 
        elementary school or secondary school, that was legally 
        operating in the State involved before September 1, 2005.
            (7) The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        Education, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and 
        Human Services.
    (m) Funding.--
            (1) In general.--Out of funds not otherwise appropriated, 
        there is hereby appropriated to the Secretary of Education, to 
        carry out this section, $2,500,000,000, to remain available 
        through the period ending on July 31, 2006. Any such funds that 
        are not obligated by the end of such period shall revert to the 
        Treasury.
            (2) Contributions.--Under such terms and conditions as the 
        Secretary may impose, the Secretary may, for the purpose of 
        carrying out this section, accept and use such amounts as may 
        be contributed by individuals, business concerns, or other 
        entities for such purpose.
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