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115th Congress   }                                     {        Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session     }                                     {        115-62

======================================================================



 
      SCHOLARSHIPS FOR OPPORTUNITY AND RESULTS REAUTHORIZATION ACT

                                _______
                                

 March 27, 2017.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Chaffetz, from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                             MINORITY VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 1387]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 1387) to reauthorize the 
Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Committee Statement and Views....................................     2
Section-by-Section...............................................     9
Explanation of Amendments........................................    12
Committee Consideration..........................................    12
Roll Call Votes..................................................    12
Application of Law to the Legislative Branch.....................    16
Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the 
  Committee......................................................    16
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............    16
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................    16
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................    16
Federal Advisory Committee Act...................................    16
Unfunded Mandate Statement.......................................    16
Earmark Identification...........................................    17
Committee Estimate...............................................    17
Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate...    17
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill as Reported.............    19
Minority Views...................................................    37

                     Committee Statement and Views


                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    H.R. 1387, the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results 
Reauthorization Act, or SOAR Reauthorization Act, reauthorizes 
funding for grants to D.C. public schools and public charter 
schools. The Act also reauthorizes the Opportunity Scholarship 
Program (OSP), which provides grants to children of families 
that meet specific criteria to offset the costs of attending 
private schools. H.R. 1387 authorizes an appropriation of $60 
million each fiscal year through fiscal year 2022, distributed 
equally between D.C. public schools, public charter schools, 
and OSP. Reauthorization of SOAR will ensure that recent gains 
in academic achievement across the D.C. education triumvirate 
continue to improve.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The SOAR Act provides critical resources to all three of 
the education resources available to children in the District 
of Columbia (``District'' or ``D.C.''). D.C. public schools, 
public charter schools, and the Opportunity Scholarship Program 
all receive critical funds through SOAR. These funds in turn 
help to create an environment where local students are able to 
access successful schools, and have a pathway to future 
success.

SOAR will help maintain and enhance educational improvements

    In recent years, academic achievement has increased in the 
District. The graduation rate for District public schools 
increased from 64 percent in the 2014-2015 school year to 69 
percent in the 2015-2016 school year.\1\ Although this gain is 
commendable and deserves recognition, the 69 percent 
underscores the need for continued improvement. SOAR is vital 
tool in ensuring that rates continue to rise, and more D.C. 
students have the opportunity to achieve academic success.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of 
Educ., DC 2015 Adjusted Cohort 4-year Graduation Rate (2011-2012 9th 
Grade Class), available at http://osse.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/
sites/osse/publication/attachments/
Adjusted%20Cohort%20Graduation%20Rate% 20Overview%202014-15.pdf; 
District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Educ., DC 
2016 Adjusted Cohort 4-year Graduation Rate (9th Grade Class Entering 
for the First Time in 2012-2013 School Year), available at http://
osse.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/osse/publication/attachments/
Adjusted%20Cohort%20Graduation%20Rate%20Overview%202015-16.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    H.R. 1387 reauthorizes the SOAR Act for another five years, 
authorizing up to $300 million in federal funding over this 
timeframe to help support education in the District. The $300 
million authorized by H.R. 1387 is divided equally among D.C. 
public schools, D.C. public charter schools, and the OSP. All 
three pillars of a strong education system for D.C. students 
benefit from this program, and OSP takes nothing away from 
public schools or public charter schools. D.C. public schools 
and D.C. public charter schools benefit from additional funding 
that would otherwise not be available to support education 
within the District. The dedicated funds appropriated under 
this authorization will help improve public schools and public 
charter schools. The District of Columbia benefits from a 
strong network of public charter schools that provide 
meaningful alternatives to families whose only other option 
would be low-performing public schools. H.R. 1387 ensures that 
D.C. public charter schools receive funding for continued 
improvement, strengthening educational options for D.C. 
children.
    Similarly, the funds provided to D.C. public schools under 
SOAR will help to continue recent progress in academic 
achievement. This fact is clear to the District's local elected 
officials. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and members of the D.C. 
Council, in a March 2016 letter, stated, ``These [SOAR Act] 
funds are critical to the gains that the District's public 
education system has seen in recent years.''\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Letter from Muriel Bowser, Mayor, District of Columbia, Phil 
Mendelson, Chairman, District of Columbia Council, et al., to Mitch 
McConnell, Maj. Leader, U.S. Sen., Harry Reid, Min. Leader, U.S. Sen., 
Paul Ryan, Speaker, U.S. H.R., Nancy Pelosi, Min. Leader, U.S. H.R. 
(Mar. 2016).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Evidence suggests the OSP has a positive impact on public 
schools. The OSP has prompted public school principals within 
the District to implement changes to retain students that might 
pursue the OSP or private school education. According to a 2010 
U.S. Department of Education study of the OSP, 28 percent of 
public school principals indicated that they made changes to 
their operations in an effort to keep students from leaving 
public school for the OSP or a private school.\3\ This 
indicates that public schools are adapting and making 
themselves better in order to be more competitive with the 
private schools participating in the OSP. As the District 
continues to make gains in and through its public schools, H.R. 
1387 further supports those efforts.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Patrick Wolf et al., Evaluation of the DC Opportunity 
Scholarship Program: Final Report, U.S. Dep't of Educ., Inst. of Educ. 
Sciences, Nat'l Center for Educ. Evaluation & Regional Assistance, at 
67, (June 2010) (NCEE 2010-4018) (hereinafter ``Wolf et al., 2010'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) is helping students and 
        families

    The OSP provides grants to students who meet certain 
eligibility requirements. These grants are then used by the 
student and their families to help offset the costs of tuition 
at participating private schools. In 2003, when the OSP was 
first included as part of the D.C. Parental Choice Incentive 
Act of 2003, D.C. public school students had the lowest test 
scores in the nation.\4\ In the decade since, D.C. public 
schools have shown improvement in many areas.\5\ However, D.C. 
public school students continue to test well below national 
averages, with scores that remain at or near the bottom of the 
United States.\6\ It is important to support the continued 
progress of D.C. public education. At the same time, children 
in the District deserve every possible opportunity to achieve 
academic success. The OSP provides exactly that sort of 
opportunity.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Nat'l Center for Educ. Statistics, Digest of Education 
Statistics, Table 222.60 (2013), Table 222.50 (2013), Table 221.60 
(2013), Table 221.40 (2013), available at https://nces.ed.gov/programs/
digest/2013menu_tables.asp.
    \5\See e.g. increased graduation rates of 69%. DC 2016 Adjusted 
Cohort 4-year Graduation Rate (9th Grade Class Entering for the First 
Time in 2012-2013 School Year), available at http://osse.dc.gov/sites/
default/files/dc/sites/osse/publication/attachments/
Adjusted%20Cohort%20Graduation%20Rate%20Overview%202015-16.pdf.
    \6\Nat'l Center for Educ. Statistics, National Assessment of 
Education Progress (NAEP), The Nation's Report Card, DC 2015, 4th Grade 
Reading State Snapshot Report available at http://nces.ed.gov/
nationsreportcard/subject/publications/stt2015/pdf/2016008DC4 
(hereafter ``DC 4th grade 2015 Reading State Snapshot Report.''); See 
also Nat'l Center for Educ. Statistics, NAEP, The Nation's Report Card, 
DC 2015, 4th Grade Mathematics State Snapshot available at http://
nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/subject/publications/stt2015/pdf/
2016009DC4.pdf (hereafter ``DC 2015 4th Grade Math State Snapshot 
Report''); See also Nat'l Center for Educ. Statistics, NAEP, The 
Nation's Report Card, DC 2015, 8th Grade Reading State Snapshot 
available at http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/subject/publications/
stt2015/pdf/2016008DC8.pdf (hereafter ``DC 8th grade 2015 Reading State 
Snapshot Report''); See also Nat'l Center for Educ. Statistics, NAEP, 
The Nation's Report Card, DC 2015, 8th Grade Mathematics State Snapshot 
available at http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/subject/publications/
stt2015/pdf/2016009DC8.pdf (hereafter ``DC 8th grade 2015 Math State 
Snapshot Report'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In 2015, D.C. eighth graders had the lowest average math 
and reading scores of any state.\7\ In math, 49 percent of 
students scored below basic, compared to the national average 
of 30 percent.\8\ In reading, 44 percent of students scored at 
the below basic level, compared to the national average of 25 
percent.\9\ In 2015, D.C. fourth graders remained at or near 
the bottom of scores in the country.\10\ Among D.C. fourth 
graders, 31 percent of students tested below a basic level in 
math, compared to the national average of 19 percent.\11\ In 
reading, 44 percent of students tested below a basic level, 
compared to the national average of 32 percent.\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\DC 8th grade 2015 Reading State Snapshot Report, supra note 6; 
DC 8th grade 2015 Math State Snapshot Report, supra note 6.
    \8\DC 8th grade 2015 Math State Snapshot Report, supra note 6.
    \9\DC 8th grade 2015 Reading State Snapshot Report, supra note 6.
    \10\DC 4th grade 2015 Math State Snapshot Report, supra note 6; DC 
4th grade 2015 Reading State Snapshot Report, supra note 6.
    \11\DC 4th grade 2015 Math State Snapshot Report, supra note 6.
    \12\DC 4th grade 2015 Reading State Snapshot Report, supra note 6.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    There is substantial evidence that OSP students are seeing 
improved achievement against non-OSP students in reading. The 
2009 U.S. Department of Education evaluation found that after 
three years, OSP students scored significantly higher in 
reading achievement.\13\ This difference equated to roughly 
three or four months of additional instruction.\14\ The final 
evaluation, conducted between 2004 and 2009, achieved only a 94 
percent confidence level-one percent below the necessary 95 
percent confidence level.\15\ As a result, the report could not 
conclusively state it increased reading achievement.\16\ 
However, Dr. Patrick Wolf, the leading researcher on the study, 
indicated that the lower confidence level was caused by the 
sample having changed.\17\ As students naturally graduated, the 
researchers had a smaller, different group of students for the 
fourth year of the study.\18\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \13\Wolf et al., 2010, supra note 3, at 36-41.
    \14\Id.
    \15\Id.
    \16\Id., at 35-37, Table 3-2 and Figure 3-1 (June 2010) (NCEE 2010-
4018).
    \17\H. Comm. on Oversight & Gov't Reform, Hearing on D.C. 
Opportunity Scholarship Program: Making the American Dream Possible, 
114th Cong. (May 14, 2015) (statement of Dr. Patrick Wolf, Professor 
and 21st Century Chair in School Choice at the College of Educ. & 
Health Professions at the University of Arkansas); See also Wolf et 
al., 2010, supra note 3, at 37, footnote 39.
    \18\H. Comm. on Oversight & Gov't Reform, Hearing on D.C. 
Opportunity Scholarship Program: Making the American Dream Possible, 
114th Cong. (May 14, 2015) (statement of Dr. Patrick Wolf, Professor 
and 21st Century Chair in School Choice at the College of Educ. & 
Health Professions at the University of Arkansas); See also Wolf et 
al., 2010, supra note 3, at 37, footnote 39.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The OSP has resulted in a meaningful impact on graduation 
rates in D.C. OSP students graduate high school at a much 
higher rate than their counterparts at D.C. public schools. 
During the 2015-2016 school year, OSP students had a graduation 
rate of 95 percent, while D.C. public school students had a 
graduation rate of 69 percent.\19\ OSP students graduated well 
above the national average of 82 percent.\20\ Students from 
low-achieving schools in particular appear to be benefiting 
from the OSP, as students in low-achieving schools that used an 
OSP scholarship increased their graduation rate from 66 percent 
to 79 percent, compared to students in low-achieving schools 
that applied for an OSP scholarship but did not receive it.\21\ 
Without an OSP grant, 87.4 percent of students attending an OSP 
participating school in the 2014-2015 school year, would have 
otherwise attended a school that had been designated as in need 
of improvement.\22\ Further, in 2014, the OSP saw 98 percent of 
its graduating students enroll in a two- or four-year college, 
with an 88 percent enrollment rate in 2015.\23\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \19\District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of 
Educ., DC 2015 Adjusted Cohort 4-year Graduation Rate (2011-2012 9th 
Grade Class), available at http://osse.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/
sites/osse/publication/attachments/
Adjusted%20Cohort%20Graduation%20Rate%20Overview%202014-15.pdf; Serving 
Our Children, D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program 2015-2016 Program 
Summary, available at http://servingourchildrendc.org/blog/program-
facts/.
    \20\Nat'l Center for Educ. Statistics, Common Core of Data, Public 
high school 4-year adjusted cohort graduation rate (ACGR) for the 
United States, the 50 states, and the District of Columbia: School Year 
2013-2014. This is the latest data available by NCES.
    \21\Wolf et al., 2010, supra note 3, at 41.
    \22\Serving Our Children, D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program 
2014-2015 Program Summary, available at http://
servingourchildrendc.org/blog/program-facts/.
    \23\D.C. Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation, D.C. 
Opportunity Scholarship Program 2013-2014 Program Summary, available at 
http://dcscholarships.org/elements/file/OSP/SY%2016-17%20Documents/
2014_06_03%20DC%20OSP%20Program%20Summary.; See also OSP 2014-2015 
Program Summary, supra note 17.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The OSP is positioning students in the District for 
academic success that will continue to benefit them for the 
rest of their lives. According to the Bureau of Labor 
Statistics, in 2016, high school graduates with no college had 
a median weekly income that was $185 higher than those without 
a diploma.\24\ This number is even higher for those with some 
college experience, and for those with a bachelor's degree, 
their median weekly earnings were more than twice that of those 
without a high school diploma.\25\ Additionally, in 2015, the 
unemployment rate was 33 percent lower for those with a high 
school diploma than for those without.\26\ For those with a 
bachelor's degree, the unemployment rate was 65 percent lower 
than for those without a high school diploma.\27\ A study 
conducted by Dr. Wolf and Dr. Michael McShane found that for 
every dollar spent on the program, the OSP produces $2.62, or a 
162 percent return on investment.\28\ Simply put, OSP is a 
cost-effective program.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \24\U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections 2015, 
available at http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm.
    \25\Id.
    \26\Id.
    \27\Id.
    \28\Patrick J. Wolf and Michael McShane, Is the Juice Worth the 
Squeeze? A Benefit/Cost Analysis of the District of Columbia 
Opportunity Scholarship Program, Education Finance and Policy (2013), 
8(1), at 74-99.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    OSP parents report the schools they are choosing for their 
children are safer than the alternative public school.\29\ 
Parents also exhibited greater satisfaction with their child's 
school because of the OSP.\30\ According to an April 2016 
report published by the Institute of Education Sciences 
examining the OSP, parents indicated greater satisfaction for 
private schools than for public schools.\31\ Parents were 
surveyed at the time of submitting their application for OSP 
about their satisfaction levels with their child's current 
school. That survey showed 93 percent of parents of private-
school students gave their current school a grade of an A or B, 
while only 55 percent of public school parents did the 
same.\32\ Put differently, 44 percent of public school parents 
applying for the OSP gave their child's current school a grade 
of a C, D, or F; only 8 percent of private school parents rated 
their child's current school as a C or lower.\33\ The strong 
satisfaction with private schools helps explain the strong 
support for the OSP within the District. Seventy-four percent 
of OSP parents and the community support the continuation of 
the program.\34\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \29\Wolf et al., 2010, supra note 3, at 43-46.
    \30\Id.
    \31\U.S. Dep't of Educ., Inst. of Educ. Sciences, Nat'l Center for 
Educ. Evaluation & Regional Assistance, Applying to the DC Opportunity 
Scholarship Program: How do Parents Rate their Children's Current 
Schools at Time of Application and what do they Want in New Schools?, 
at 4 (Apr. 2016) (NCEE Evaluation Brief) (hereinafter ``NCEE Evaluation 
Brief, April 2016'').
    \32\Id.
    \33\Id. The percentages do not sum to 100 due to rounding.
    \34\Lester & Associates, The District of Columbia Citywide Survey, 
Feb. 2011, Question 25.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    According to an April 2016 Institute of Education Sciences' 
report, parents of private school students indicated the least 
amount of dissatisfaction with their child's school across each 
of the 12 categories measured.\35\ In each category, the 
dissatisfaction with public schools was at least 15 percentage 
points greater than the dissatisfaction with private 
schools.\36\ With respect to ``academic quality,''--the top 
priority for parents choosing a new school--parents of public 
school students registered dissatisfaction at 42 percent 
compared to the 6 percent registered by parents of private 
school students.\37\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \35\NCEE Evaluation Brief, April 2016, supra note 31, at 8.
    \36\Id.
    \37\Id, at 8 and 10.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

The SOAR Act enhances OSP

    The OSP is contributing to the success of students in the 
District and parents' satisfaction with their child's 
education. As a result of the demonstrated success of the OSP, 
H.R. 1387 revises the structure for evaluating the program. 
Beginning in 2003, the D.C. Parental Choice Incentive Act, and 
the subsequent SOAR Act, required the OSP be evaluated using 
the strongest possible research design. To fulfill this 
requirement, the Secretary of Education utilized a randomized 
control evaluation, creating a lottery system where some 
student applicants received scholarships, while other student 
applicants were placed in a ``control group'' and did not 
receive a scholarship.\38\ The current method of evaluation 
limits participation in the program and excludes students from 
receiving a scholarship.\39\ Given the documented success of 
the program, H.R. 1387 shifts the OSP evaluation to a new 
standard that will still rigorously measure student 
achievement, but not deny scholarships to certain students 
placed into a control group.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \38\See National Center for Education Evaluation & Regional 
Assistance, Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program: 
Mandated Evaluation of the OSP, available at https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/
pubs/20094050/summ_2.asp.
    \39\The use of a control group limits students from participating 
by requiring a group of students that has not had access to the OSP in 
order to compare to OSP students. By nature of being a control group, 
these students must not be subject to the experimental factor, in this 
case attending a private school through the OSP program and instead 
attending a public school or public charter school, in order to 
determine what effect OSP participation has on academic achievement.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In order to ensure the new evaluation method is rigorous, 
H.R. 1387 requires the use of a quasi-experimental research 
design evaluation. This evaluation compares the academic 
achievement of OSP students to the academic achievement of a 
comparison group of students with similar backgrounds in D.C. 
public schools. The study is to continue evaluating students 
who received a scholarship and were previously studied under 
the former evaluation. The evaluation is not a descriptive 
analysis, nor does it compare OSP students to their own 
performance over time. Rather, it is an evaluation of OSP 
student achievement compared to D.C. public school student 
achievement, comparing students from similar backgrounds.
    Instead of requiring students be excluded from OSP, the 
study should be designed to meet the U.S. Department of 
Education's The What Works Clearinghouse standards for a 
``qualified quasi-experimental design.'' A study conducted 
according to these standards permits evaluators to draw causal 
conclusions about the program, with the reservations typical of 
such non-experimental analyses.\40\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \40\What Works Clearinghouse, Designing Quasi-Experiments: Meeting 
What Works Clearinghouse Standards Without Random Assignment, Webinar 
Transcript, Mar. 3, 2015, available at http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/
multimedia/qedwebinar/wwc_webinar_qed_030315.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The legislation also addresses prior concerns with the 
administration of OSP. Two previously published Government 
Accountability Office reports cited concerns with the OSP 
administrator's internal controls, including policies and 
procedures for financial management.\41\ An investigation by 
The Washington Post conducted in 2012 highlighted similar 
concerns.\42\ These reports also noted that the OSP 
administrator did not maintain complete information about OSP 
schools' accreditation, which serves as a means of 
accountability and oversight.\43\ H.R. 1387 addresses the 
concerns raised in the reports by requiring the OSP 
administrator utilize internal fiscal and quality controls, and 
by requiring OSP participating schools to become accredited.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \41\Gov't Accountability Office, District of Columbia Opportunity 
Scholarship Program: Additional Policies and Procedures Would Improve 
Internal Controls and Program Operations, at 20 (Nov. 2007) (GAO-08-9); 
see also Gov't Accountability Office, District of Columbia Opportunity 
Scholarship Program: Actions Needed to Address Weaknesses in 
Administration and Oversight, at 19 (Sept. 2013) (GAO-13-805).
    \42\Lyndsey Layton and Emma Brown, Quality Controls Lacking for 
D.C. Schools Accepting Federal Vouchers, WASH. POST, Nov. 17, 2012.
    \43\Id.; Gov't Accountability Office, District of Columbia 
Opportunity Scholarship Program: Additional Policies and Procedures 
Would Improve Internal Controls and Program Operations, at 20 (Nov. 
2007) (GAO-08-9); see also Gov't Accountability Office, District of 
Columbia Opportunity Scholarship Program: Actions Needed to Address 
Weaknesses in Administration and Oversight, at 19 (Sept. 2013) (GAO-13-
805).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The new controls required by the SOAR Reauthorization Act 
mandate the administrator of the OSP report on how he or she 
will ensure the financial viability of participating schools 
where 85 percent or more of the student body are OSP 
participants. The bill also requires that all schools be 
accredited within four years of enactment.\44\ These changes 
help address quality control concerns and ensure students in 
the District receive the high standard education they deserve.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \44\The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 contained 
accreditation provisions requiring OSP participating schools become 
accredited. However, concerns arose over the way the language was 
drafted over the possibility that schools could participate in the 
program without ever becoming fully accredited. Out of an abundance of 
caution, H.R. 1387 repeals the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 
language (Division E, Sec. 817) and replaces it with clearer language 
ensuring accreditation. Because the original accreditation language 
(which required OSP participating, unaccredited schools and 
unaccredited schools who want to participate in the OSP begin seeking 
accreditation within a year of enactment) took effect upon enactment of 
the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, the accreditation language 
in H.R. 1387 is tied to this original enactment date to maintain the 
five year accreditation timeline originally envisioned and enacted 
through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The legislation also requires that criminal background 
checks be conducted on school employees who have direct, 
unsupervised interaction with students, and that at OSP 
participating schools, teachers of core subject matter 
(mathematics; science; and English, reading, or language arts) 
have a baccalaureate or equivalent degree.
    H.R. 1387 ensures that all eligible students are permitted 
access to the OSP. The Department of Education asserted that 
students may be prevented from participating in the program 
based on the type of school the student previously attended, 
whether a student was previously awarded a scholarship that 
remains unused, and whether the student was a member of the 
previous control group used in the Institute of Education 
Sciences study.\45\ The Department interpreted the SOAR Act's 
direction to the Department to ``target resources to students 
and families that lack the financial resources to take 
advantage of available educational options'' as allowing it to 
exclude these eligible students from participating in the 
program.\46\ H.R. 1387 prevents the Department from continuing 
this practice of shutting eligible students out of the program.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \45\Letter from Nadya Chinoy Dabby, Asst. Deputy Sec. for 
Innovation and Improvement, U.S. Dep't. of Educ., to Jason Chaffetz, 
Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight & Gov't. Reform, (Mar. 2, 2016) 
(hereinafter ``Letter from Nadya Chinoy Dabby'').
    \46\Id. See also Pub. L. No. 112-10, Division C, Sec. 3006 (2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    All of these changes serve to enhance the OSP. H.R. 1387 
provides greater oversight and transparency of the program 
while ensuring students are able to participate in the OSP and 
the program administrator has access to the resources that 
Congress appropriates.

                          Legislative History

    On March 7, 2017, Chairman Jason Chaffetz introduced H.R. 
1387, the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act, with 
Representatives Mark Meadows, Virginia Foxx, Luke Messer, 
Rodney Frelinghuysen, Tim Walberg, Todd Rokita, Andy Harris, 
Ron DeSantis are original cosponsors. Representatives Dan 
Lipinksi and Steve Russell subsequently cosponsored the bill. 
H.R. 1387 was referred to the House Committee on Oversight and 
Government Reform. The Committee considered H.R. 194 at a 
business meeting on March 10, 2017 and ordered the bill 
reported favorably, without amendment, by voice vote.
    Two similar bills were introduced in the 114th Congress. 
The first, H.R. 10, was introduced by then-Speaker of the House 
John Boehner on October 5, 2015. H.R. 10 was referred to the 
Committee on Oversight and Government, and ordered favorably 
reported, as amended, on October 9, 2015 by a recorded vote of 
16-14. The Act passed the House of Representatives on October 
21, 2015 by a vote of 240-191. A Senate companion to H.R. 10, 
numbered S. 2171, was introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein on 
October 8, 2015. S. 2171 was referred to the Senate Committee 
on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. The Committee 
held a hearing on the bill on November 4, 2015.
    The second similar bill in the 114th Congress was H.R. 
4901, which was introduced by Representative Jason Chaffetz on 
April 12, 2016. The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Oversight and Government Reform. The Committee held a business 
meeting on April 14, 2016, where the bill was reported 
favorably by voice vote. H.R. 4901 passed the House on April 
29, 2016 by a vote of 224-181. Language similar to H.R. 4901 
was included in the House Financial Services and General 
Government Appropriations Act of 2017, H.R. 5485. A portion of 
this language, the release of carryover funds withheld by the 
Department of Education, was included in H.R. 2028, the FY 2017 
Continuing Resolution.

                           Section-by-Section


Section 1. Short title; References in Act

    Section 1 designates the short title as the ``Scholarship 
for Opportunity and Results Reauthorization Act,'' or ``SOAR 
Reauthorization Act.''

Section 2. Repeal

    Section 2 repeals all provisions, and revives and restores 
those provisions repealed by the Consolidated Appropriations 
Act, 2016.

Section 3. Purposes

    Section 3 amends section 3003 of by Public Law 112-10 by 
clarifying that the purpose of the act is to provide 
particularly for parents of students who attend an elementary 
school or secondary school identified as one of the lowest 
performing schools under the District of Columbia's 
accountability system, with''.

Section 4. Prohibiting imposition of limits on types of eligible 
        students participating in the program

    This section amends section 3004(a) (sec. 38-1853.04(a), 
D.C. Official Code) by making clear the Secretary of the 
Department of Education (Secretary) shall not limit otherwise 
eligible students from participating in the Opportunity 
Scholarship Program (OSP) based on the type of school the 
student previously attended, whether or not the student 
previously received a scholarship (including whether an 
eligible student was previously awarded a scholarship and did 
not use the scholarship), or whether the student was a member 
of the evaluation ``control group'' that previously prohibited 
them from participating in OSP.

Section 5. Requiring eligible entities to utilize internal fiscal and 
        quality controls

    This section amends section 3005(b)(1) of Public Law 112-10 
by making clear that participating schools may not be required 
to submit to more than one site visit per school year.
    The section requires the OSP administrator to ensure the 
financial viability of all participating schools where 85 
percent or more of the students received and use scholarships. 
The section requires the eligible entity to ensure that it uses 
internal fiscal and quality controls and complies with 
applicable reporting requirements.

Section 6. Clarification of priorities for awarding scholarships to 
        eligible students

    This section amends section 3006(1) of Public Law 112-10 by 
clarifying that priorities for awarding scholarships shall be 
based on attendance at an elementary school or secondary school 
identified as one of the lowest-performing schools under the 
District of Columbia accountability system.

Section 7. Modification of requirements for participating schools and 
        eligible entities

    This section amends section 3007(a)(4) of Public Law 112-10 
by requiring that entities ensure that core subject matter 
classes are taught by teachers holding a baccalaureate or 
equivalent degree. The section also requires the entity conduct 
criminal background checks on employees with direct 
unsupervised access to children and complies with requests for 
data and information regarding reporting requirements listed in 
section 3010.
    This section further amends section 3007(a) of Public Law 
112-10 by clarifying that no funds may be used to enroll in a 
school unless that school is fully accredited or is pursuing 
full accreditation within one year of the enactment of the 
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, and is fully accredited 
within five years of the date which the school began the 
accreditation process. The section further requires that, not 
later than five years after enactment of the SOAR act, each 
participating school shall submit a certification of full 
accreditation. Failure to submit the certification will require 
the school to assist students in identifying and applying to 
another participating school. Students that have been awarded a 
scholarship in the past, but have not used the scholarship, are 
to be treated as renewal students and not new applicants.
    This section further amends section 3007 of Public Law 112-
10 by clarifying that the Secretary shall make $2 million of 
the amount appropriated each fiscal year available to the 
eligible entities to cover administrative expenses, such as 
determining eligibility, selecting students to receive 
scholarships, maintaining records, conducting site visits, and 
conducting a study on barriers faced by participating eligible 
students in gaining admission or attending participating 
schools. Funds shall also be dispensed to cover the expense of 
educating parents and providing information and funds to 
parents of eligible students for purposes related to attendance 
at the participating school.
    The section also clarifies that funds for student academic 
assistance shall be based on the student previously attending 
an elementary school or secondary school identified as one of 
the lowest performing schools.

Section 8. Program evaluation

    This section amends section 3009(a) of Public Law 112-10 
(sec. 38-1853.09(a), D.C. Official Code). The section requires 
the Mayor of D.C. and Secretary to have the Institute of 
Education Sciences (IES), within the Department of Education, 
annually evaluate the OSP, and agree to monitor and evaluate 
D.C. public schools and public charter schools' use of funds. 
These evaluations are to be made public.
    This section requires the Secretary to ensure the annual 
OSP evaluation uses a quasi-experimental research design that 
does not require a control group that would prohibit eligible 
students from entering the OSP and will disseminate information 
on the impact of the program.
    This section makes clear that IES will assess participating 
students in grades three through eight and one grade in high 
school and that the evaluation shall measure achievement of 
participating students who use an opportunity scholarship. IES 
will work with eligible entities to ensure parents of 
participating students agree to participate in the evaluations.
    The section requires the following issues be evaluated by 
IES: a comparison of academic achievement of OSP participating 
students with similar backgrounds in D.C. public schools; the 
success of expanding choice options for parents and increasing 
satisfaction of parents and students with their choice; reasons 
for participating in the program; a comparison of retention, 
graduation, college admission, college persistence, and college 
graduation rates of OSP participating students with those in 
the D.C. public school comparison group (a similar comparison 
of college enrollment, persistence, and graduation rates for 
students who participated in the OSP in certain years compared 
to students who entered the OSP lottery but were not selected); 
school safety; an assessment of student achievement at OSP 
participating schools with 85 percent or greater enrollment of 
OSP participating students; and other issues the Secretary 
deems appropriate.
    The section provides protections for the personally 
identifiable information of students.
    The evaluation conducted under the previous authorizations 
of the SOAR Act will be terminated, but the Secretary will 
continue to monitor and evaluate students who were evaluated 
under the most recent evaluation prior to the date of enactment 
of this Act.

Section 9. Funding for District of Columbia public schools and public 
        charter schools

    This section amends section 3011(b) of Public Law 112-10 by 
clarifying that in the event, after reasonable notice and 
opportunity for a hearing, the Secretary determines the Mayor 
has failed to comply with any reporting requirements in 
subsection (a), the Secretary may withhold, in part or in 
whole, funds authorized to be appropriated under section 
3014(a)(2), 3014(a)(3), or 3014(a)(2) or (3) of D.C. Official 
Code, as the circumstances of the failure to report dictate.
    The section also clarifies the rules for how funds shall be 
provided to support public charter schools by permitting the 
Secretary to direct funds provided in any fiscal year, or 
portion thereof, to the State Superintendent of Education for 
the District. The State Superintendent may transfer funds to a 
specific public charter school or network of schools, or a 
District-based non-profit with experience in successfully 
supporting District public charter schools or networks of 
schools.

Section 10. Revision of current memorandum of understanding

    This section requires that the Secretary of Education and 
the Mayor revise the memorandum of understanding to address the 
amendments made by this act, the need to ensure participating 
schools meet fire code standards and maintain certificates of 
occupancy, and that public schools and public charter schools 
meet the requirements for complying with reasonable requests 
for information to carry out evaluations.

Section 11. Definitions

    This section amends section 3013 of Public Law 112-10 to 
define core subject matter courses, such as mathematics, 
science, and English, reading, or language arts.

Section 12. Extension of authorization of appropriations

    This section authorizes the OSP program through fiscal year 
2022, effective September 30, 2016.

Section 13. Effective date

    This section clarifies that the act shall take affect with 
respect to the 2018-2019 school year and each succeeding year.

                       Explanation of Amendments

    During Full Committee consideration of the bill, three 
amendments were offered to H.R. 1387.
    Representative Connolly (D-VA) offered an amendment to 
require the evaluation of the program be conducted using the 
strongest possible research design standards and practices. The 
amendment required the use of control groups in the evaluation 
process, thereby depriving groups of students from access to 
the OSP. The amendment was not adopted by a roll call vote of 
17 to 23.
    Representative Watson-Coleman (D-NJ) offered an amendment 
that added the categories of sexual orientation and gender to 
the list of protected classes under the nondiscrimination 
clause in Section 3008(a) of the SOAR Act. The amendment was 
not adopted by a roll call vote of 17 to 22.
    Representative DeSaulnier (D-CA) offered an amendment that 
applied the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to 
students participating in the OSP. The amendment was not 
adopted by a roll call vote of 18 to 23.

                        Committee Consideration

    On March 10, 2017, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered reported favorably the bill, H.R. 1387, by voice vote, 
a quorum being present.

                            Roll Call Votes

    There were three recorded votes during consideration of 
H.R. 1387:


              Application of Law to the Legislative Branch

    Section 102(b)(3) of Public Law 104-1 requires a 
description of the application of this bill to the legislative 
branch where the bill relates to the terms and conditions of 
employment or access to public services and accommodations. 
This bill reauthorizes authority to appropriate funding for 
D.C. public schools and public charter schools. As such, this 
bill does not relate to employment or access to public services 
and accommodations.

  Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the Committee

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
(2)(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the descriptive portions of 
this report.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance 
goal or objective of this bill is to reauthorize the 
Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act, and for other 
purposes.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    No provision of this bill establishes or reauthorizes a 
program of the Federal Government known to be duplicative of 
another Federal program, a program that was included in any 
report from the Government Accountability Office to Congress 
pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program 
related to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    The Committee estimates that enacting this bill does not 
direct the completion of any specific rule makings within the 
meaning of section 551 or title 5, United States Code.

                     Federal Advisory Committee Act

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not establish 
or authorize the establishment of an advisory committee within 
the definition of Section 5(b) of the appendix to title 5, 
United States Code.

                       Unfunded Mandate Statement

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act (as amended by Section 101(a)(2) of the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act, P.L. 104-4) requires a statement as to 
whether the provisions of the reported include unfunded 
mandates. In compliance with this requirement, the Committee 
has included below a letter received from the Congressional 
Budget Office.

                         Earmark Identification

    This bill does not include any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of rule XXI.

                           Committee Estimate

    Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the 
Committee of the costs that would be incurred in carrying out 
this bill. However, clause 3(d)(2)(B) of that rule provides 
that this requirement does not apply when the Committee has 
included in its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the 
bill prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974, which the Committee has included below.

     Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect 
to requirements of clause (3)(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives and section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has received 
the following cost estimate for this bill from the Director of 
Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, March 27, 2017.
Hon. Jason Chaffetz,
Chairman, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1387, the 
Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Reauthorization Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Leah 
Koestner.
            Sincerely,
                                                        Keith Hall.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1387--Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Reauthorization Act

    Summary: H.R. 1387 would amend and reauthorize the 
Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act and would 
authorize the appropriation of $60 million annually through 
fiscal year 2022. CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 1387 would 
cost $315 million over the 2017-2022 period, assuming 
appropriation of the authorized amounts.
    Enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. CBO 
estimates that enacting H.R. 1387 would not increase net direct 
spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 
10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    H.R. 1387 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA).
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary effect of H.R. 1387 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 500 
(education, training, employment, and social services).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             2017      2018      2019      2020      2021      2022    2017-2022
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 INCREASES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
 
Authorization Level......................        15        60        60        60        60        60        315
Estimated Outlays........................        15        60        60        60        60        60        315
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: CBO assumes H.R. 1387 will be enacted 
late in fiscal year 2017, that the authorized amounts will be 
appropriated each year, and that outlays will follow historical 
spending patterns. The Congress previously authorized annual 
appropriations of $60 million through fiscal year 2016 and 
appropriated $45 million for the program in 2016. Under the 
continuing resolution that level of funding was extended (on an 
annualized basis) for 2017.
    H.R. 1387 would authorize the appropriation of $60 million 
annually through fiscal year 2022, and would direct the funds 
to be divided equally for the following three purposes:
           To provide scholarships for private-school 
        tuition to parents of students who reside in the 
        District of Columbia and to meet certain criteria under 
        the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program;
           To improve public education in the District 
        of Columbia; and
           To improve and expand quality public charter 
        schools in the District of Columbia.
    CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost $315 
million over the 2017-2022 period.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: None.
    Increase in long-term direct spending and deficits: CBO 
estimates that enacting H.R. 1387 would not increase net direct 
spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 
10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 1387 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA. An educational entity of the District of 
Columbia may voluntarily choose to apply to the Department of 
Education to distribute grants through the School Choice 
Program, but any associated costs to the District would be 
incurred voluntarily and would result from complying with 
conditions of assistance. If low-income students choose to 
attend private schools, the District of Columbia school system 
could lose federal grants based on the number of low-income 
students in the system.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Leah Koestner; Impact 
on state, local, and tribal governments: Zachary Byrum; Impact 
on the private sector: Paige Piper/Bach.
    Estimate approved by: H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, and existing law in which no 
change is proposed is shown in roman):

CONSOLIDATED APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2016

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


 DIVISION E--FINANCIAL SERVICES AND GENERAL GOVERNMENT APPROPRIATIONS 
ACT, 2016

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                               TITLE VIII

                GENERAL PROVISIONS--DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

(INCLUDING TRANSFERS OF FUNDS)

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


  [Sec. 817. (a) This section may be cited as the ``D.C. 
Opportunity Scholarship Program School Certification 
Requirements Act''.
  [(b) Section 3007(a) of the Scholarships for Opportunity and 
Results Act (Public Law 112-10; 125 Stat. 203) is amended--
          [(1) in paragraph (4)--
                  [(A) in subparagraph (E), by striking ``and'' 
                after the semicolon;
                  [(B) in subparagraph (F), by striking the 
                period at the end and inserting a semicolon; 
                and
                  [(C) by adding at the end the following:
                  [``(G)(i) is provisionally or fully 
                accredited by a national or regional 
                accrediting agency that is recognized in the 
                District of Columbia School Reform Act of 1995 
                (sec. 38-1802.02(16)(A)-(G), D.C. Official 
                Code) or any other accrediting body deemed 
                appropriate by the Office of the State 
                Superintendent for Schools for the purposes of 
                accrediting an elementary or secondary school; 
                or
                          [``(ii) in the case of a school that 
                        is a participating school as of the day 
                        before the date of enactment of the 
                        D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program 
                        School Certification Requirements Act 
                        and, as of such day, does not meet the 
                        requirements of clause (i)--
                                  [``(I) by not later than 1 
                                year after such date of 
                                enactment, is pursuing 
                                accreditation by a national or 
                                regional accrediting agency 
                                recognized in the District of 
                                Columbia School Reform Act of 
                                1995 (sec. 38-1802.02(16)(A)-
                                (G), D.C. Official Code) or any 
                                other accrediting body deemed 
                                appropriate by the Office of 
                                the State Superintendent for 
                                Schools for the purposes of 
                                accrediting an elementary or 
                                secondary school; and
                                  [``(II) by not later than 5 
                                years after such date of 
                                enactment, is provisionally or 
                                fully accredited by such 
                                accrediting agency, except that 
                                an eligible entity may grant 
                                not more than one 1-year 
                                extension to meet this 
                                requirement for each 
                                participating school that 
                                provides evidence to the 
                                eligible entity from such 
                                accrediting agency that the 
                                school's application for 
                                accreditation is in process and 
                                the school will be awarded 
                                accreditation before the end of 
                                the 1-year extension period;
                  [``(H) conducts criminal background checks on 
                school employees who have direct and 
                unsupervised interaction with students; and
                  [``(I) complies with all requests for data 
                and information regarding the reporting 
                requirements described in section 3010.''; and
          [(2) by adding at the end the following:
          [``(5) New participating schools.--If a school is not 
        a participating school as of the date of enactment of 
        the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program School 
        Certification Requirements Act, the school shall not 
        become a participating school and none of the funds 
        provided under this division for opportunity 
        scholarships may be used by an eligible student to 
        enroll in that school unless the school--
                  [``(A) is actively pursuing provisional or 
                full accreditation by a national or regional 
                accrediting agency that is recognized in the 
                District of Columbia School Reform Act of 1995 
                (sec. 38-1802.02(16)(A)-(G), D.C. Official 
                Code) or any other accrediting body deemed 
                appropriate by the Office of the State 
                Superintendent for Schools for the purposes of 
                accrediting an elementary or secondary school; 
                and
                  [``(B) meets all of the other requirements 
                for participating schools under this Act.
          [``(6) Enrolling in another school.--An eligible 
        entity shall assist the parents of a participating 
        eligible student in identifying, applying to, and 
        enrolling in an another participating school for which 
        opportunity scholarship funds may be used, if--
                  [``(A) such student is enrolled in a 
                participating private school and may no longer 
                use opportunity scholarship funds for 
                enrollment in that participating private school 
                because such school fails to meet a requirement 
                under paragraph 4, or any other requirement of 
                this Act; or
                  [``(B) a participating eligible student is 
                enrolled in a school that ceases to be a 
                participating school.''.
  [(c) Report to Eligible Entities.--Section 3010 of the 
Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act (Public Law 112-
10; 125 Stat. 203) is further amended--
          [(1) by redesignating subsection (d) as subsection 
        (e); and
          [(2) by inserting after subsection (c) the following:
  [``(d) Reports to Eligible Entities.--The eligible entity 
receiving funds under section 3004(a) shall ensure that each 
participating school under this division submits to the 
eligible entity beginning not later than 5 years after the date 
of the enactment of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program 
School Certification Requirements Act, a certification that the 
school has been awarded provisional or full accreditation, or 
has been granted an extension by the eligible entity in 
accordance with section 3007(a)(4)(G).''.
  [(d) Unless specifically provided otherwise, this section, 
and the amendments made by this section, shall take effect 1 
year after the date of enactment of this Act.]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


SCHOLARSHIPS FOR OPPORTUNITY AND RESULTS ACT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


DIVISION C--SCHOLARSHIPS FOR OPPORTUNITY AND RESULTS ACT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 3003. PURPOSE.

  The purpose of this division is to provide low-income parents 
residing in the District of Columbia, [particularly parents of 
students who attend elementary schools or secondary schools 
implementing comprehensive support and improvement activities 
or targeted support and improvement activities under section 
1111(d) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, 
with] particularly parents of students who attend an elementary 
school or secondary school identified as one of the lowest-
performing schools under the District of Columbia's 
accountability system, with expanded opportunities for 
enrolling their children in other schools in the District of 
Columbia, at least until the public schools in the District of 
Columbia have adequately addressed shortfalls in health, 
safety, and security, and the students in the District of 
Columbia public schools are testing in mathematics and reading 
at or above the national average.

SEC. 3004. GENERAL AUTHORITY.

  (a) Opportunity Scholarships.--
          (1) In general.--From funds appropriated under 
        section 3014(a)(1), the Secretary shall award grants on 
        a competitive basis to eligible entities with approved 
        applications under section 3005 to carry out a program 
        to provide eligible students with expanded school 
        choice opportunities. The Secretary may award a single 
        grant or multiple grants, depending on the quality of 
        applications submitted and the priorities of this 
        division.
          (2) Duration of grants.--The Secretary may make 
        grants under this subsection for a period of not more 
        than 5 years.
          (3) Prohibiting imposition of limits on eligible 
        students participating in the program.--
                  (A) In general.--In carrying out the program 
                under this division, the Secretary may not 
                limit the number of eligible students receiving 
                scholarships under section 3007(a), and may not 
                prevent otherwise eligible students from 
                participating in the program under this 
                division, based on any of the following:
                          (i) The type of school the student 
                        previously attended.
                          (ii) Whether or not the student 
                        previously received a scholarship or 
                        participated in the program, including 
                        whether an eligible student was awarded 
                        a scholarship in any previous year but 
                        has not used the scholarship, 
                        regardless of the number of years of 
                        nonuse.
                          (iii) Whether or not the student was 
                        a member of the control group used by 
                        the Institute of Education Sciences to 
                        carry out previous evaluations of the 
                        program under section 3009.
                  (B) Rule of construction.--Nothing in 
                subparagraph (A) may be construed to waive the 
                requirement under section 3005(b)(1)(B) that 
                the eligible entity carrying out the program 
                under this Act must carry out a random 
                selection process, which gives weight to the 
                priorities described in section 3006, if more 
                eligible students seek admission in the program 
                than the program can accommodate.
  (b) DC Public Schools and Charter Schools.--From funds 
appropriated under paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 3014(a), 
the Secretary shall provide funds to the Mayor of the District 
of Columbia, if the Mayor agrees to the requirements described 
in section 3011(a), for--
          (1) the District of Columbia public schools to 
        improve public education in the District of Columbia; 
        and
          (2) the District of Columbia public charter schools 
        to improve and expand quality public charter schools in 
        the District of Columbia.

SEC. 3005. APPLICATIONS.

  (a) In General.--In order to receive a grant under section 
3004(a), an eligible entity shall submit an application to the 
Secretary at such time, in such manner, and accompanied by such 
information as the Secretary may require.
  (b) Contents.--The Secretary may not approve the request of 
an eligible entity for a grant under section 3004(a) unless the 
entity's application includes--
          (1) a detailed description of--
                  (A) how the entity will address the 
                priorities described in section 3006;
                  (B) how the entity will ensure that if more 
                eligible students seek admission in the program 
                of the entity than the program can accommodate, 
                eligible students are selected for admission 
                through a random selection process which gives 
                weight to the priorities described in section 
                3006;
                  (C) how the entity will ensure that if more 
                participating eligible students seek admission 
                to a participating school than the school can 
                accommodate, participating eligible students 
                are selected for admission through a random 
                selection process;
                  (D) how the entity will notify parents of 
                eligible students of the expanded choice 
                opportunities in order to allow the parents to 
                make informed decisions;
                  (E) the activities that the entity will carry 
                out to provide parents of eligible students 
                with expanded choice opportunities through the 
                awarding of scholarships under section 3007(a);
                  (F) how the entity will determine the amount 
                that will be provided to parents under section 
                3007(a)(2) for the payment of tuition, fees, 
                and transportation expenses, if any;
                  (G) how the entity will seek out private 
                elementary schools and secondary schools in the 
                District of Columbia to participate in the 
                program;
                  (H) how the entity will ensure that each 
                participating school will meet the reporting 
                and other program requirements under this 
                division;
                  (I) how the entity will ensure that 
                participating schools submit to site visits by 
                the entity as determined to be necessary by the 
                entity[, except that a participating school may 
                not be required to submit to more than 1 site 
                visit per school year];
                  (J) how the entity will ensure that 
                participating schools are financially 
                responsible and will use the funds received 
                under section 3007 effectively;
                  (K) how the entity will ensure the financial 
                viability of participating schools in which 85 
                percent or more of the total number of students 
                enrolled at the school are participating 
                eligible students that receive and use an 
                opportunity scholarship;
                  [(K)] (L) how the entity will address the 
                renewal of scholarships to participating 
                eligible students, including continued 
                eligibility; [and]
                  [(L)] (M) how the entity will ensure that a 
                majority of its voting board members or 
                governing organization are residents of the 
                District of Columbia; and
                  (N) how the eligible entity will ensure that 
                it--
                          (i) utilizes internal fiscal and 
                        quality controls; and
                          (ii) complies with applicable 
                        financial reporting requirements and 
                        the requirements of this division; and
          (2) an assurance that the entity will comply with all 
        requests regarding any evaluation carried out under 
        section 3009(a).

SEC. 3006. PRIORITIES.

  In awarding grants under section 3004(a), the Secretary shall 
give priority to applications from eligible entities that will 
most effectively--
          (1) in awarding scholarships under section 3007(a), 
        give priority to--
                  (A) eligible students who, in the school year 
                preceding the school year for which the 
                eligible students are seeking a scholarship, 
                [attended an elementary school or secondary 
                school implementing comprehensive support and 
                improvement activities or targeted support and 
                improvement activities under section 1111(d) of 
                the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 
                1965;] attended an elementary school or 
                secondary school identified as one of the 
                lowest-performing schools under the District of 
                Columbia's accountability system; and
                  [(B) students who have been awarded a 
                scholarship in a preceding year under this 
                division or the DC School Choice Incentive Act 
                of 2003 (sec. 38-1851.01 et seq., D.C. Official 
                Code), as such Act was in effect on the day 
                before the date of the enactment of this 
                division, but who have not used the 
                scholarship, including eligible students who 
                were provided notification of selection for a 
                scholarship for school year 2009-2010, which 
                was later rescinded in accordance with 
                direction from the Secretary of Education; and]
                  [(C)] (B) students whose household includes a 
                sibling or other child who is already 
                participating in the program of the eligible 
                entity under this division, regardless of 
                whether such students have, in the past, been 
                assigned as members of a control study group 
                for the purposes of an evaluation under section 
                3009(a)[;] or whether such students have, in 
                the past, attended a private school;
          (2) target resources to students and families that 
        lack the financial resources to take advantage of 
        available educational options; and
          (3) provide students and families with the widest 
        range of educational options.
[The version below of subsection (a) of section 3007 of the 
Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act reflects law as it 
existed prior to the enactment of section 817 of the 
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (Public Law 114-113; 
December 18, 2015) pursuant to the amendment provided for in 
section 2 of H.R. 1387 (as reported) along with other 
amendments made to this section as so proposed by such bill.]

SEC. 3007. USE OF FUNDS.

  (a) Opportunity Scholarships.--
          (1) In general.--Subject to [paragraphs (2) and (3)] 
        paragraphs (2), (3), and (5) , an eligible entity 
        receiving a grant under section 3004(a) shall use the 
        grant funds to provide eligible students with 
        scholarships to pay the tuition, fees, and 
        transportation expenses, if any, to enable the eligible 
        students to attend the District of Columbia private 
        elementary school or secondary school of their choice 
        beginning in school year 2011-2012. Each such eligible 
        entity shall ensure that the amount of any tuition or 
        fees charged by a school participating in such entity's 
        program under this division to an eligible student 
        participating in the program does not exceed the amount 
        of tuition or fees that the school charges to students 
        who do not participate in the program.
          (2) Payments to parents.--An eligible entity 
        receiving a grant under section 3004(a) shall make 
        scholarship payments under the entity's program under 
        this division to the parent of the eligible student 
        participating in the program, in a manner which ensures 
        that such payments will be used for the payment of 
        tuition, fees, and transportation expenses (if any), in 
        accordance with this division.
          (3) Amount of assistance.--
                  (A) Varying amounts permitted.--Subject to 
                the other requirements of this section, an 
                eligible entity receiving a grant under section 
                3004(a) may award scholarships in larger 
                amounts to those eligible students with the 
                greatest need.
                  (B) Annual limit on amount.--
                          (i) Limit for school year 2011-
                        2012.--The amount of assistance 
                        provided to any eligible student by an 
                        eligible entity under the entity's 
                        program under this division for school 
                        year 2011-2012 may not exceed--
                                  (I) $8,000 for attendance in 
                                kindergarten through grade 8; 
                                and
                                  (II) $12,000 for attendance 
                                in grades 9 through 12.
                          (ii) Cumulative inflation 
                        adjustment.--Beginning with school year 
                        2012-2013, the Secretary shall adjust 
                        the maximum amounts of assistance 
                        described in clause (i) for inflation, 
                        as measured by the percentage increase, 
                        if any, from the preceding fiscal year 
                        in the Consumer Price Index for All 
                        Urban Consumers, published by the 
                        Bureau of Labor Statistics of the 
                        Department of Labor.
          (4) Participating school requirements.--None of the 
        funds provided under this division for opportunity 
        scholarships may be used by an eligible student to 
        enroll in a participating private school unless the 
        participating school--
                  (A) has and maintains a valid certificate of 
                occupancy issued by the District of Columbia;
                  (B) makes readily available to all 
                prospective students information on its school 
                accreditation;
                  (C) in the case of a school that has been 
                operating for 5 years or less, submits to the 
                eligible entity administering the program proof 
                of adequate financial resources reflecting the 
                financial sustainability of the school and the 
                school's ability to be in operation through the 
                school year;
                  (D) agrees to submit to site visits as 
                determined to be necessary by the eligible 
                entity pursuant to section 3005(b)(1)(I);
                  (E) has financial systems, controls, 
                policies, and procedures to ensure that funds 
                are used according to this division; [and]
                  [(F) ensures that, with respect to core 
                academic subjects (as such term was defined in 
                section 9101(11) of the Elementary and 
                Secondary Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801(11)) on 
                the day before the date of enactment of the 
                Every Student Succeeds Act), participating 
                students are taught by a teacher who has a 
                baccalaureate degree or equivalent degree, 
                whether such degree was awarded in or outside 
                of the United States.]
                  (F) ensures that, with respect to core 
                subject matter, participating students are 
                taught by a teacher who has a baccalaureate 
                degree or equivalent degree, whether such 
                degree was awarded in or outside of the United 
                States;
                  (G) conducts criminal background checks on 
                school employees who have direct and 
                unsupervised interaction with students; and
                  (H) complies with all requests for data and 
                information regarding the reporting 
                requirements described in section 3010.
          (5) Accreditation requirements.--
                  (A) In general.--None of the funds provided 
                under this division for opportunity 
                scholarships may be used by a participating 
                eligible student to enroll in a participating 
                private school unless the school--
                          (i) in the case of a school that is a 
                        participating school as of the date of 
                        enactment of the SOAR Reauthorization 
                        Act--
                                  (I) is fully accredited by an 
                                accrediting body described in 
                                any of subparagraphs (A) 
                                through (G) of section 2202(16) 
                                of the District of Columbia 
                                School Reform Act of 1995 
                                (Public Law 104-134; sec. 38-
                                1802.02(16)(A)-(G), D.C. 
                                Official Code); or
                                  (II) if such participating 
                                school does not meet the 
                                requirements of subclause (I)--
                                          (aa) not later than 1 
                                        year after the date of 
                                        enactment of the 
                                        Consolidated 
                                        Appropriations Act, 
                                        2016 (Public Law 114-
                                        113), the school is 
                                        pursuing full 
                                        accreditation by an 
                                        accrediting body 
                                        described in subclause 
                                        (I); and
                                          (bb) is fully 
                                        accredited by such an 
                                        accrediting body not 
                                        later than 5 years 
                                        after the date on which 
                                        that school began the 
                                        process of pursuing 
                                        full accreditation in 
                                        accordance with item 
                                        (aa); and
                          (ii) in the case of a school that is 
                        not a participating school as of the 
                        date of enactment of the SOAR 
                        Reauthorization Act, is fully 
                        accredited by an accrediting body 
                        described in clause (i)(I) before 
                        becoming a participating school under 
                        this division.
                  (B) Reports to eligible entity.--Not later 
                than 5 years after the date of enactment of the 
                SOAR Reauthorization Act, each participating 
                school shall submit to the eligible entity a 
                certification that the school has been fully 
                accredited in accordance with subparagraph (A).
                  (C) Assisting students in enrolling in other 
                schools.--If a participating school fails to 
                meet the requirements of this paragraph, the 
                eligible entity shall assist the parents of the 
                participating eligible students who attend the 
                school in identifying, applying to, and 
                enrolling in another participating school under 
                this division.
          (6) Treatment of students awarded a scholarship in a 
        previous year.--An eligible entity shall treat a 
        participating eligible student who was awarded an 
        opportunity scholarship in any previous year and who 
        has not used the scholarship as a renewal student and 
        not as a new applicant, without regard as to--
                  (A) whether the eligible student has used the 
                scholarship; and
                  (B) the year in which the scholarship was 
                previously awarded.
  [(b) Administrative Expenses.--An eligible entity receiving a 
grant under section 3004(a) may use not more than 3 percent of 
the amount provided under the grant each year for the 
administrative expenses of carrying out its program under this 
division during the year, including--
          [(1) determining the eligibility of students to 
        participate;
          [(2) selecting eligible students to receive 
        scholarships;
          [(3) determining the amount of scholarships and 
        issuing the scholarships to eligible students;
          [(4) compiling and maintaining financial and 
        programmatic records; and
          [(5) conducting site visits as described in section 
        3005(b)(1)(I).
  [(c) Parental Assistance.--An eligible entity receiving a 
grant under section 3004(a) may use not more than 2 percent of 
the amount provided under the grant each year for the expenses 
of educating parents about the entity's program under this 
division, and assisting parents through the application 
process, under this division, including--
          [(1) providing information about the program and the 
        participating schools to parents of eligible students;
          [(2) providing funds to assist parents of students in 
        meeting expenses that might otherwise preclude the 
        participation of eligible students in the program; and
          [(3) streamlining the application process for 
        parents.]
  (b) Administrative Expenses and Parental Assistance.--The 
Secretary shall make $2,000,000 of the amount made available 
under section 3014(a)(1) for each fiscal year available to 
eligible entities receiving a grant under section 3004(a) to 
cover the following expenses:
          (1) The administrative expenses of carrying out its 
        program under this division during the year, 
        including--
                  (A) determining the eligibility of students 
                to participate;
                  (B) selecting the eligible students to 
                receive scholarships;
                  (C) determining the amount of the 
                scholarships and issuing the scholarships to 
                eligible students;
                  (D) compiling and maintaining financial and 
                programmatic records;
                  (E) conducting site visits as described in 
                section 3005(b)(1)(I); and
                  (F)(i) conducting a study, including a survey 
                of participating parents, on any barriers for 
                participating eligible students in gaining 
                admission to, or attending, the participating 
                school that is their first choice; and
                  (ii) not later than the end of the first full 
                fiscal year after the date of enactment of the 
                SOAR Reauthorization Act, submitting a report 
                to Congress that contains the results of such 
                study.
          (2) The expenses of educating parents about the 
        eligible entity's program under this division, and 
        assisting parents through the application process under 
        this division, including--
                  (A) providing information about the program 
                and the participating schools to parents of 
                eligible students, including information on 
                supplemental financial aid that may be 
                available at participating schools;
                  (B) providing funds to assist parents of 
                students in meeting expenses that might 
                otherwise preclude the participation of 
                eligible students in the program; and
                  (C) streamlining the application process for 
                parents.
  [(d)] (c) Student Academic Assistance.--An eligible entity 
receiving a grant under section 3004(a) may use not more than 1 
percent of the amount provided under the grant each year for 
expenses to provide tutoring services to participating eligible 
students that need additional academic assistance. If there are 
insufficient funds to provide tutoring services to all such 
students in a year, the eligible entity shall give priority in 
such year to students who [previously attended an elementary 
school or secondary school that was implementing comprehensive 
support and improvement activities or targeted support and 
improvement activities under section 1111(d) of the Elementary 
and Secondary Education Act of 1965.] previously attended an 
elementary school or secondary school identified as one of the 
lowest-performing schools under the District of Columbia's 
accountability system.
  [(e)] (d) Requiring Use Of Funds Remaining Unobligated From 
Previous Fiscal Years.--
          (1) In general.--To the extent that any funds 
        appropriated for the opportunity scholarship program 
        under this division for any fiscal year remain 
        available for subsequent fiscal years under section 
        3014(c), the Secretary shall make such funds available 
        to eligible entities receiving grants under section 
        3004(a) for the uses described in paragraph (2)--
                  (A) in the case of any remaining funds that 
                were appropriated before the date of enactment 
                of the SOAR Funding Availability Act, beginning 
                on the date of enactment of such Act; and
                  (B) in the case of any remaining funds 
                appropriated on or after the date of enactment 
                of such Act, by the first day of the first 
                subsequent fiscal year.
          (2) Use of funds.--If an eligible entity to which the 
        Secretary provided additional funds under paragraph (1) 
        elects to use such funds during a fiscal year, the 
        eligible entity shall use--
                  (A) not less than 95 percent of such 
                additional funds to provide additional 
                scholarships for eligible students under 
                subsection (a), or to increase the amount of 
                the scholarships, during such year; and
                  (B) not more than a total of 5 percent of 
                such additional funds for administrative 
                expenses, parental assistance, or tutoring, as 
                described in [subsections (b), (c), and (d)] 
                subsections (b) and (c) , during such year.
          (3) Special rule.--Any amounts made available for 
        administrative expenses, parental assistance, or 
        tutoring under paragraph (2)(B) shall be in addition to 
        any other amounts made available for such purposes in 
        accordance with [subsections (b), (c), and (d)] 
        subsections (b) and (c) .

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 3009. EVALUATIONS.

  [(a) In General.--
          [(1) Duties of the secretary and the mayor.--The 
        Secretary and the Mayor of the District of Columbia 
        shall--
                  [(A) jointly enter into an agreement with the 
                Institute of Education Sciences of the 
                Department of Education to evaluate annually 
                the performance of students who received 
                scholarships under the 5-year program under 
                this division;
                  [(B) jointly enter into an agreement to 
                monitor and evaluate the use of funds 
                authorized and appropriated for the District of 
                Columbia public schools and the District of 
                Columbia public charter schools under this 
                division; and
                  [(C) make the evaluations described in 
                subparagraphs (A) and (B) public in accordance 
                with subsection (c).
          [(2) Duties of the secretary.--The Secretary, through 
        a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement, shall--
                  [(A) ensure that the evaluation under 
                paragraph (1)(A)--
                          [(i) is conducted using the strongest 
                        possible research design for 
                        determining the effectiveness of the 
                        opportunity scholarship program under 
                        this division; and
                          [(ii) addresses the issues described 
                        in paragraph (4); and
                  [(B) disseminate information on the impact of 
                the program--
                          [(i) in increasing the academic 
                        growth and achievement of participating 
                        eligible students; and
                          [(ii) on students and schools in the 
                        District of Columbia.
          [(3) Duties of the institute of education sciences.--
        The Institute of Education Sciences of the Department 
        of Education shall--
                  [(A) use a grade appropriate, nationally 
                norm-referenced standardized test each school 
                year to assess participating eligible students 
                in a manner consistent with section 3008(h);
                  [(B) measure the academic achievement of all 
                participating eligible students; and
                  [(C) work with the eligible entities to 
                ensure that the parents of each student who 
                applies for a scholarship under this division 
                (regardless of whether the student receives the 
                scholarship) and the parents of each student 
                participating in the scholarship program under 
                this division, agree that the student will 
                participate, if requested by the Institute of 
                Education Sciences, in the measurements given 
                annually by the Institute of Educational 
                Sciences for the period for which the student 
                applied for or received the scholarship, 
                respectively, except that nothing in this 
                subparagraph shall affect a student's priority 
                for an opportunity scholarship as provided 
                under section 3006.
          [(4) Issues to be evaluated.--The issues to be 
        evaluated under paragraph (1)(A) shall include the 
        following:
                  [(A) A comparison of the academic growth and 
                achievement of participating eligible students 
                in the measurements described in paragraph (3) 
                to the academic growth and achievement of the 
                eligible students in the same grades who sought 
                to participate in the scholarship program under 
                this division but were not selected.
                  [(B) The success of the program in expanding 
                choice options for parents of participating 
                eligible students, improving parental and 
                student satisfaction of such parents and 
                students, respectively, and increasing parental 
                involvement of such parents in the education of 
                their children.
                  [(C) The reasons parents of participating 
                eligible students choose for their children to 
                participate in the program, including important 
                characteristics for selecting schools.
                  [(D) A comparison of the retention rates, 
                high school graduation rates, and college 
                admission rates of participating eligible 
                students with the retention rates, high school 
                graduation rates, and college admission rates 
                of students of similar backgrounds who do not 
                participate in such program.
                  [(E) A comparison of the safety of the 
                schools attended by participating eligible 
                students and the schools in the District of 
                Columbia attended by students who do not 
                participate in the program, based on the 
                perceptions of the students and parents.
                  [(F) Such other issues with respect to 
                participating eligible students as the 
                Secretary considers appropriate for inclusion 
                in the evaluation, such as the impact of the 
                program on public elementary schools and 
                secondary schools in the District of Columbia.
                  [(G) An analysis of the issues described in 
                subparagraphs (A) through (F) by applying such 
                subparagraphs by substituting ``the subgroup of 
                participating eligible students who have used 
                each opportunity scholarship awarded to such 
                students under this division to attend a 
                participating school'' for ``participating 
                eligible students'' each place such term 
                appears.
          [(5) Prohibition.--Personally identifiable 
        information regarding the results of the measurements 
        used for the evaluations may not be disclosed, except 
        to the parents of the student to whom the information 
        relates.]
  (a) In General.--
          (1) Duties of the secretary and the mayor.--The 
        Secretary and the Mayor of the District of Columbia 
        shall--
                  (A) jointly enter into an agreement with the 
                Institute of Education Sciences of the 
                Department of Education to evaluate annually 
                the opportunity scholarship program under this 
                division;
                  (B) jointly enter into an agreement to 
                monitor and evaluate the use of funds 
                authorized and appropriated for the District of 
                Columbia public schools and the District of 
                Columbia public charter schools under this 
                division; and
                  (C) make the evaluations described in 
                subparagraphs (A) and (B) public in accordance 
                with subsection (c).
          (2) Duties of the secretary.--The Secretary, through 
        a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement, shall--
                  (A) ensure that the evaluation under 
                paragraph (1)(A)--
                          (i) 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; and
                          (ii) addresses the issues described 
                        in paragraph (4); and
                  (B) disseminate information on the impact of 
                the program--
                          (i) on academic achievement and 
                        educational attainment of participating 
                        eligible students who use an 
                        opportunity scholarship; and
                          (ii) on students and schools in the 
                        District of Columbia.
          (3) Duties of the institute on education sciences.--
        The Institute of Education Sciences of the Department 
        of Education shall--
                  (A) assess participating eligible students 
                who use an opportunity scholarship in each of 
                grades 3 through 8, as well as one of the 
                grades at the high school level, by supervising 
                the administration of the same reading and 
                mathematics assessment used by the District of 
                Columbia public schools to comply with section 
                1111(b) of the Elementary and Secondary 
                Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311(b));
                  (B) measure the academic achievement of all 
                participating eligible students who use an 
                opportunity scholarship in the grades described 
                in subparagraph (A); and
                  (C) work with eligible entities receiving a 
                grant under this division to ensure that the 
                parents of each student who is a participating 
                eligible student that uses an opportunity 
                scholarship agrees to permit their child to 
                participate in the evaluations and assessments 
                carried out by the Institute of Education 
                Sciences under this subsection.
          (4) Issues to be evaluated.--The issues to be 
        evaluated under paragraph (1)(A) shall include the 
        following:
                  (A) A comparison of the academic achievement 
                of participating eligible students who use an 
                opportunity scholarship on the measurements 
                described in paragraph (3)(B) to the academic 
                achievement of a comparison group of students 
                with similar backgrounds in the District of 
                Columbia public schools and the District of 
                Columbia public charter schools.
                  (B) The success of the program under this 
                division in expanding choice options for 
                parents of participating eligible students and 
                increasing the satisfaction of such parents and 
                students with their choice.
                  (C) The reasons parents of participating 
                eligible students choose for their children to 
                participate in the program, including important 
                characteristics for selecting schools.
                  (D) A comparison of the retention rates, high 
                school graduation rates, college enrollment 
                rates, college persistence rates, and college 
                graduation rates of participating eligible 
                students who use an opportunity scholarship 
                with the rates of students in the comparison 
                group described in subparagraph (A).
                  (E) A comparison of the college enrollment 
                rates, college persistence rates, and college 
                graduation rates of students who participated 
                in the program in 2004, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2013, 
                2014, and 2015 as the result of winning the 
                Opportunity Scholarship Program lottery with 
                such enrollment, persistence, and graduation 
                rates for students who entered but did not win 
                such lottery in those years and who, as a 
                result, served as the control group for 
                previous evaluations of the program under this 
                division. Nothing in this subparagraph may be 
                construed to waive section 3004(a)(3)(A)(iii) 
                with respect to any such student.
                  (F) A comparison of the safety of the schools 
                attended by participating eligible students who 
                use an opportunity scholarship and the schools 
                in the District of Columbia attended by 
                students in the comparison group described in 
                subparagraph (A), based on the perceptions of 
                the students and parents.
                  (G) An assessment of student academic 
                achievement at participating schools in which 
                85 percent of the total number of students 
                enrolled at the school are participating 
                eligible students who receive and use an 
                opportunity scholarship.
                  (H) Such other issues with respect to 
                participating eligible students who use an 
                opportunity scholarship as the Secretary 
                considers appropriate for inclusion in the 
                evaluation, such as the impact of the program 
                on public elementary schools and secondary 
                schools in the District of Columbia.
          (5) Prohibiting disclosure of personal information.--
                  (A) In general.--Any disclosure of personally 
                identifiable information obtained under this 
                division shall be in compliance with section 
                444 of the General Education Provisions Act 
                (commonly known as the `Family Educational 
                Rights and Privacy Act of 1974') (20 U.S.C. 
                1232g).
                  (B) Students not attending public school.--
                With respect to any student who is not 
                attending a public elementary school or 
                secondary school, personally identifiable 
                information obtained under this division shall 
                only be disclosed to--
                          (i) individuals carrying out the 
                        evaluation described in paragraph 
                        (1)(A) for such student;
                          (ii) the group of individuals 
                        providing information for carrying out 
                        the evaluation of such student; and
                          (iii) the parents of such student.
  (b) Reports.--The Secretary shall submit to the Committees on 
Appropriations, Education and the Workforce, and Oversight and 
Government Reform of the House of Representatives and the 
Committees on Appropriations, Health, Education, Labor, and 
Pensions, and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the 
Senate--
          (1) annual interim reports, not later than April 1 of 
        the year following the year of the date of enactment of 
        this division, and each subsequent year through the 
        year in which the final report is submitted under 
        paragraph (2), on the progress and preliminary results 
        of the evaluation of the opportunity scholarship 
        program funded under this division; and
          (2) a final report, not later than 1 year after the 
        final year for which a grant is made under section 
        3004(a), on the results of the evaluation of the 
        program.
  (c) Public Availability.--All reports and underlying data 
gathered pursuant to this section shall be made available to 
the public upon request, in a timely manner following 
submission of the applicable report under subsection (b), 
except that personally identifiable information shall not be 
disclosed or made available to the public.
  (d) Limit on Amount Expended.--The amount expended by the 
Secretary to carry out this section for any fiscal year may not 
exceed 5 percent of the total amount appropriated under section 
3014(a)(1) for the fiscal year.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 3011. DC PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND DC PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS.

  (a) Condition of Receipt of Funds.--As a condition of 
receiving funds under this division on behalf of the District 
of Columbia public schools and the District of Columbia public 
charter schools, the Mayor shall agree to carry out the 
following:
          [(1) Information requests.--Ensure that all the 
        District of Columbia public schools and the District of 
        Columbia public charter schools comply with all 
        reasonable requests for information for purposes of the 
        evaluation under section 3009(a).]
          (1) Information necessary to carry out evaluations.--
        Ensure that all District of Columbia public schools and 
        District of Columbia public charter schools make 
        available to the Institute of Education Sciences of the 
        Department of Education all of the information the 
        Institute requires to carry out the assessments and 
        perform the evaluations required under section 3009(a).
          (2) Agreement with the secretary.--Enter into the 
        agreement described in section 3009(a)(1)(B) to monitor 
        and evaluate the use of funds authorized and 
        appropriated for the District of Columbia public 
        schools and the District of Columbia public charter 
        schools under this division.
          (3) Submission of report.--Not later than 6 months 
        after the first appropriation of funds under section 
        3014, and each succeeding year thereafter, submit to 
        the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on 
        Education and the Workforce, and the Committee on 
        Oversight and Government Reform of the House of 
        Representatives, and the Committee on Appropriations, 
        the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and 
        Pensions, and the Committee on Homeland Security and 
        Governmental Affairs of the Senate, information on--
                  (A) how the funds authorized and appropriated 
                under this division for the District of 
                Columbia public schools and the District of 
                Columbia public charter schools were used in 
                the preceding school year; and
                  (B) how such funds are contributing to 
                student achievement.
  [(b) Enforcement.--If, after reasonable notice and an 
opportunity for a hearing for the Mayor, the Secretary 
determines that the Mayor has not been in compliance with 1 or 
more of the requirements described in subsection (a), the 
Secretary may withhold from the Mayor, in whole or in part, 
further funds under this division for the District of Columbia 
public schools and the District of Columbia public charter 
schools.]
  (b) Specific Rules Regarding Funds Provided for Support of 
Public Charter Schools.--The following rules shall apply with 
respect to the funds provided under this division for the 
support of District of Columbia public charter schools:
          (1) The Secretary may direct the funds provided for 
        any fiscal year, or any portion thereof, to the Office 
        of the State Superintendent of Education of the 
        District of Columbia.
          (2) The Office of the State Superintendent of 
        Education of the District of Columbia may transfer the 
        funds to subgrantees that are--
                  (A) specific District of Columbia public 
                charter schools or networks of such schools; or
                  (B) District of Columbia-based nonprofit 
                organizations with experience in successfully 
                providing support or assistance to District of 
                Columbia public charter schools or networks of 
                such schools.
          (3) The funds provided under this division for the 
        support of District of Columbia public charter schools 
        shall be available to any District of Columbia public 
        charter school in good standing with the District of 
        Columbia Charter School Board, and the Office of the 
        State Superintendent of Education of the District of 
        Columbia and the District of Columbia Charter School 
        Board may not restrict the availability of such funds 
        to certain types of schools on the basis of the 
        school's location, governing body, or the school's 
        facilities.
  (c) Enforcement.--If, after reasonable notice and an 
opportunity for a hearing, the Secretary determines that the 
Mayor has failed to comply with any of the requirements of 
subsection (a), the Secretary may withhold from the Mayor, in 
whole or in part--
          (1) the funds otherwise authorized to be appropriated 
        under section 3014(a)(2), if the failure to comply 
        relates to the District of Columbia public schools;
          (2) the funds otherwise authorized to be appropriated 
        under section 3014(a)(3), if the failure to comply 
        relates to the District of Columbia public charter 
        schools; or
          (3) the funds otherwise authorized to be appropriated 
        under both paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 3014(a), 
        if the failure relates to both the District of Columbia 
        public schools and the District of Columbia public 
        charter schools.
  [(c)] (d) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in this section 
shall be construed to reduce, or otherwise affect, funding 
provided under this division for the opportunity scholarship 
program under this division.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 3013. DEFINITIONS.

  As used in this division:
          (1) Core subject matter.--The term ``core subject 
        matter'' means--
                  (A) mathematics;
                  (B) science; and
                  (C) English, reading, or language arts.
          [(1)] (2) Elementary school.--The term ``elementary 
        school'' means an institutional day or residential 
        school, including a public elementary charter school, 
        that provides elementary education, as determined under 
        District of Columbia law.
          [(2)] (3) Eligible entity.--The term ``eligible 
        entity'' means any of the following:
                  (A) A nonprofit organization.
                  (B) A consortium of nonprofit organizations.
          [(3)] (4) Eligible student.--The term ``eligible 
        student'' means a student who is a resident of the 
        District of Columbia and comes from a household--
                  (A) receiving assistance under the 
                supplemental nutrition assistance program 
                established under the Food and Nutrition Act of 
                2008 (7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.); or
                  (B) whose income does not exceed--
                          (i) 185 percent of the poverty line; 
                        or
                          (ii) in the case of a household with 
                        a student participating in the 
                        opportunity scholarship program in the 
                        preceding year under this division or 
                        the DC School Choice Incentive Act of 
                        2003 (sec. 38-1851.01 et seq., D.C. 
                        Official Code), as such Act was in 
                        effect on the day before the date of 
                        enactment of this division, 300 percent 
                        of the poverty line.
          [(4) ] (5) Mayor.--The term ``Mayor'' means the Mayor 
        of the District of Columbia.
          [(5) ] (6) Parent.--The term ``parent'' has the 
        meaning given that term in section 8101 of the 
        Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.
          [(6)] (7) Participating eligible student.--The term 
        ``participating eligible student'' means an eligible 
        student awarded an opportunity scholarship under this 
        division, without regard to whether the student uses 
        the scholarship to attend a participating school.
          [(7)] (8) Participating school.--The term 
        ``participating school'' means a private elementary 
        school or secondary school participating in the 
        opportunity scholarship program of an eligible entity 
        under this division.
          [(8)] (9) Poverty line.--The term ``poverty line'' 
        has the meaning given that term in section 8101 of the 
        Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.
          [(9)] (10) Secondary school.--The term ``secondary 
        school'' means an institutional day or residential 
        school, including a public secondary charter school, 
        that provides secondary education, as determined under 
        District of Columbia law, except that the term does not 
        include any education beyond grade 12.
          [(10)] (11) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means 
        the Secretary of Education.

SEC. 3014. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  (a) In General.--There are authorized to be appropriated 
$60,000,000 for fiscal year 2012 [and for each of the 4 
succeeding fiscal years] and for each fiscal year through 
fiscal year 2022 , of which--
          (1) one-third shall be made available to carry out 
        the opportunity scholarship program under this division 
        for each fiscal year;
          (2) one-third shall be made available to carry out 
        section 3004(b)(1) for each fiscal year; and
          (3) one-third shall be made available to carry out 
        section 3004(b)(2) for each fiscal year.
  (b) Apportionment.--If the total amount of funds appropriated 
under subsection (a) for a fiscal year does not equal 
$60,000,000, the funds shall be apportioned in the manner 
described in subsection (a) for such fiscal year.
  (c) Availability.--Amounts appropriated under subsection 
(a)(1), including amounts appropriated and available under such 
subsection before the date of enactment of the SOAR Funding 
Availability Act, shall remain available until expended.
  (d) Effective date.--The amendments made by this section 
shall take effect on the date of enactment of this section.

                             MINORITY VIEWS

    We oppose H.R. 1387, the Scholarships for Opportunity and 
Results Reauthorization Act, which would reauthorize the 
District of Columbia's private school voucher program. The 
voucher program has not improved student achievement, lacks 
accountability and transparency, and denies students the full 
protection of federal civil rights laws. The District also has 
robust public school choice.
    A professed intent of the voucher program is to improve 
student achievement. However, according to a U.S. Department of 
Education study mandated by statute, the program has not 
improved student achievement, as measured by math and reading 
tests, and has had ``no significant impacts'' on the 
achievement of students from the lowest performing public 
schools.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Institute of Education Sciences, Department of Education, 
Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program: Final Report 
(June 2010).
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    To evaluate the program's effectiveness, the prior 
authorizations required ``the strongest possible research 
design.'' The evaluation utilized the gold standard of 
scientific research, a randomized controlled trial.
    H.R. 1387 would weaken the rigor of the evaluation. It 
would require ``an acceptable quasi-experimental research 
design,'' and expressly prohibit a randomized controlled trial. 
According to evaluators of the program, a randomized controlled 
trial ``is especially important in the context of school choice 
because families wanting to apply for a choice program may have 
educational goals and aspirations that differ from the average 
family.''\2\ We are disappointed that the majority rejected an 
amendment restoring the evaluation required by the prior 
authorizations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Institute of Education Sciences, Department of Education, 
Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program: An Early Look at 
Applicants and Participating Schools Under the SOAR Act (Oct. 2014).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The program was the first federal elementary and secondary 
private school voucher program in the country, and it remains 
the only such program. Congress has rejected efforts to create 
a national voucher program. In the 114th Congress, the House 
and Senate considered several national voucher amendments 
during reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary 
Education Act, but none was adopted. We oppose Congress 
imposing any policy on the District, but particularly those 
that it has failed to impose nationally.
    Congress has never authorized the program through regular 
order. The program was authorized in 2004 and reauthorized in 
2011 through legislative provisions included in appropriations 
bills.\3\ The Senate has never passed a stand-alone bill 
authorizing the program.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Consolidated Appropriations Act, Pub. L. No. 108-199 (2004), and 
Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, Pub. 
L. No. 112-10 (2011).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Under the Home Rule Act of 1973, the D.C. Council has 
authority to establish a voucher program, but has never done 
so. In a letter to Chairman Jason Chaffetz on March 7, 2017, a 
majority of the D.C. Council opposed admitting new students 
into the program and requested that any funding go to D.C. 
public and charter schools.\4\ During creation of the program, 
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, with the assistance of the 
Archbishop of Washington, successfully insisted that public and 
charter school funding be provided in conjunction with voucher 
funding.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Letter from Councilmember David Grosso, District of Columbia, et 
al. to Chairman Jason Chaffetz, House Committee on Oversight and 
Government Reform (Mar. 7, 2017).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The program denies students the full protection of federal 
civil rights laws that apply to public schools or federally 
funded programs or activities, including the Civil Rights Act 
of 1964; the Education Amendments of 1972; the Equal 
Educational Opportunities Act of 1974; the Individuals with 
Disabilities Education Act; the Americans with Disabilities Act 
of 1990; and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Under the program, 
federal funding is considered assistance to the student and not 
to the school enrolling the student. We are disappointed that 
the majority rejected two amendments to protect students from 
discrimination. Students should not have to give up the 
protection of federal civil rights laws to participate in a 
federal program.
    The District has a robust public school choice system in 
which 46% of public school students attend charter schools\5\ 
and 75% of public school students attend out-of-boundary public 
schools.\6\ Unlike the private schools participating in the 
voucher program, D.C. public and charter schools are 
accountable to the public for their use of taxpayer funds.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Office of the State Superintendent of Education, Public School 
Enrollment in the District of Columbia Increases for Eighth Consecutive 
Year (Mar. 6, 2017) (online at http://osse.dc.gov/
release/public-school-enrollment-district-columbia-increases-eighth-
consecutive-year).
    \6\Very Few D.C. Students Attend Assigned Schools, Data Show, 
Washington Post (Feb. 19, 2014) (online at www.washingtonpost.com/
blogs/local/wp/2014/02/19/very-few-d-c-students-attend-assigned-
schools-data-show).
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                                   Elijah E. Cummings,
                                           Ranking Member.
                                   Eleanor Holmes Norton.
                                   Gerald E. Connolly.

                                  [all]