There are 5 versions of this bill. View text

Click the check-box to add or remove the section, click the text link to scroll to that section.
Titles Actions Overview All Actions Cosponsors Committees Related Bills Subjects Latest Summary All Summaries

Titles (7)

Short Titles

Short Titles - House of Representatives

Short Titles as Passed House

SOAR Reauthorization Act
Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Reauthorization Act

Short Titles as Reported to House

SOAR Reauthorization Act
Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Reauthorization Act

Short Titles as Introduced

SOAR Reauthorization Act
Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Reauthorization Act

Official Titles

Official Titles - House of Representatives

Official Title as Introduced

To reauthorize the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act, and for other purposes.

Actions Overview (3)

04/29/2016Passed/agreed to in House: On passage Passed by recorded vote: 224 - 181 (Roll no. 179).(text: CR H2115-2118)
04/25/2016Reported by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. H. Rept. 114-522.
04/12/2016Introduced in House

All Actions (20)

Date Chamber
07/14/2016SenateRead the second time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 564.
07/13/2016SenateRead the first time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under Read the First Time.
05/09/2016SenateReceived in the Senate.
04/29/2016-10:53amHouseMotion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
04/29/2016-10:53amHouseOn passage Passed by recorded vote: 224 - 181 (Roll no. 179). (text: CR H2115-2118)
04/29/2016-10:47amHouseOn motion to recommit with instructions Failed by the Yeas and Nays: 167 - 228 (Roll no. 178).
04/29/2016-10:26amHouseThe previous question on the motion to recommit with instructions was ordered without objection. (consideration: CR H2126)
04/29/2016-10:24amHouseDEBATE - The House proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Lieu motion to recommit with instructions. The instructions contained in the motion seek to require the bill to be reported back to the House forthwith with an amendment to prohibit participating schools from discriminating against voucher students based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
04/29/2016-10:23amHouseMr. Lieu, Ted moved to recommit with instructions to the Committee on Oversight and Government. (consideration: CR H2126-2127; text: CR H2126)
04/29/2016-10:23amHouseThe previous question was ordered pursuant to the rule. (consideration: CR H2126)
04/29/2016-9:17amHouseDEBATE - The House proceeded with one hour of debate on H.R. 4901.
04/29/2016-9:17amHouseResolution provides for consideration of H.R. 4901 and H.J. Res. 88.
04/29/2016-9:17amHouseConsidered under the provisions of rule H. Res. 706. (consideration: CR H2115-2128)
04/27/2016-5:47pmHouseRules Committee Resolution H. Res. 706 Reported to House. Resolution provides for consideration of H.R. 4901 and H.J. Res. 88.
04/25/2016HousePlaced on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 402.
04/25/2016HouseReported by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. H. Rept. 114-522.
04/14/2016HouseOrdered to be Reported by Voice Vote.
04/14/2016HouseCommittee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held.
04/12/2016HouseReferred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
04/12/2016HouseIntroduced in House

Committees (1)

Committees, subcommittees and links to reports associated with this bill are listed here, as well as the nature and date of committee activity and Congressional report number.

Committee / Subcommittee Date Activity Reports
House Oversight and Government Reform04/12/2016 Referred to
04/14/2016 Markup by
04/25/2016 Reported by H. Rept. 114-522

A related bill may be a companion measure, an identical bill, a procedurally-related measure, or one with text similarities. Bill relationships are identified by the House, the Senate, or CRS, and refer only to same-congress measures.

Latest Summary (3)

There are 3 summaries for H.R.4901. View summaries

Shown Here:
Passed House without amendment (04/29/2016)

(This measure has not been amended since it was reported to the House on April 25, 2016. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Reauthorization Act or the SOAR Reauthorization Act

(Sec. 2) This bill repeals the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program School Certification Requirements Act, as contained in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016.

(Sec. 3) The Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act (SOAR) is amended to limit its focus to students in the lowest-performing Washington, DC, elementary and secondary schools.

(Sec. 4) The Department of Education (ED) shall not limit the number of eligible students receiving Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) scholarships, or prevent otherwise eligible students from participating in the OSP because of:

  • the type of school the student previously attended;
  • whether or not the individual previously received the scholarship or participated in OSP, including one previously awarded a scholarship who did not use it; or
  • was a member of the control group used by the Institute of Education Sciences to carry out previous OSP evaluations.

(Sec. 5) An eligible nonprofit organization's application for an OSP grant must include how it will ensure:

  • the financial viability of a participating school in which 85% or more of enrolled students receive and use an opportunity scholarship,
  • utilization of internal fiscal and quality controls and compliance with financial reporting requirements.

(Sec. 6) Priorities for the award of scholarships are modified to give priority to:

  • students who in the preceding school year attended a low-achieving elementary or secondary school, and
  • certain students regardless of whether they have attended a private school.

(Sec. 7) OSP-participating schools must:

  • ensure that participating students are taught core subject matter by a teacher with a baccalaureate or equivalent degree,
  • conduct criminal background checks on school employees who have direct and unsupervised interactions with students, and
  • comply with all requests for data and information regarding certain reporting requirements.

Participating private schools must be provisionally or fully accredited or in the process of seeking accreditation.

ED must make OSP funds available to eligible entities receiving a grant for administrative expenses and parental education and assistance.

Previously unobligated OSP funds must be used for additional scholarships (95%) and administrative expenses (5%).

(Sec. 8) The bill revises current OSP evaluation procedures.

ED shall ensure that evaluation of the OSP is conducted using an acceptable quasi-experimental research design for determining the effectiveness of the opportunity scholarship program under this division that does not use a control study group consisting of students who applied for but did not receive opportunity scholarships.

The bill revises the duties of the ED Institute of Educational Sciences (IES) to repeal the requirement for a grade appropriate, nationally norm-referenced standardized test each school year to assess participating eligible students. IES shall instead assess participating eligible students who use an opportunity scholarship in each of grades 3 through 8, as well as one of the high school level grades, by supervising the administration of a specified reading and mathematics assessment used by the DC public schools.

The issues to be assessed shall exclude OSP success in increasing parental involvement of such parents in the education of their children, but include:

  • a comparison of the academic achievement of participating eligible students who use an opportunity scholarship to the academic achievement of a comparison group of students with similar backgrounds in the DC public schools (instead of the academic growth and achievement of the eligible students in the same grades who sought to participate in the OSP but were not selected);
  • a comparison of the college enrollment rates, college persistence rates, and college graduation rates of students who participated in the program in specified years as the result of winning the OSP lottery with the enrollment, persistence, and graduation rates for students who entered but did not win the lottery in those years and who, as a result, served as the control group for previous evaluations of the program; as well as
  • an assessment of student academic achievement at participating schools in which 85% of the total number of students enrolled at the school are participating eligible students who receive and use an opportunity scholarship.

The prohibition against any disclosure of personally identifiable information shall be replaced with specified requirements for such a disclosure.

(Sec. 9) The specified authorized OSP funds that ED may withhold for noncompliance with SOAR requirements shall be differentiated based on whether the noncompliance relates to the DC public schools, to the DC public charter schools, or to both.

Funds provided under this Act to support DC public charter schools may be directed to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education for transfer to subgrantee public charter schools or networks of such schools, or DC-based non-profit organizations with successful experience with them.

(Sec. 10) ED and the Mayor shall revise a specified memorandum of understanding to ensure that participating schools meet fire code standards and maintain certificates of occupancy.

(Sec. 12) The bill reauthorizes the OSP through FY2021.