S.1909 - CHOICE Act113th Congress (2013-2014)
Summary: S.1909 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)
Introduced in Senate (01/09/2014)
Creating Hope and Opportunity for Individuals and Communities through Education Act or the CHOICE Act - Amends the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act to: (1) require the Secretary of Education (Secretary) to use funds appropriated under the Act that are carried over from one fiscal year to the next to provide opportunity scholarships to eligible students who have not yet received them, and (2) include among the eligibility criteria for such a scholarship a requirement that a student in the District of Columbia is enrolled, or will be enrolled for the next school year, in a public or private elementary or secondary school. (Opportunity scholarships are provided to low-income students in the District of Columbia to enable them to attend the District of Columbia private elementary or secondary school of their choice.)
Amends the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to allow states that have established a program allowing the parents of disabled children to use public or private funds to send their children to a private school to use their allocation of special education funds to supplement those funds.
Authorizes grants for the improvement of special education services to be used for the planning, design, and initial implementation, during a period of up to three years, of state programs that allow the parents of a disabled child to make a genuine independent choice of the appropriate public or private school for their child.
Sets forth requirements for those programs, including that they: (1) permit parents to receive state funds to pay some or all of the costs of their disabled child's attendance at the selected school, or (2) permit persons to receive a state tax credit for donations to an entity that provides funds to enable parents to pay some or all of the costs of their disabled child's attendance at that school.
Directs the Secretary of Defense (DOD) to carry out a five-year pilot program to award scholarships to enable military dependent students who live on military installations to attend the public or private elementary or secondary schools their parents choose rather than those assigned to them.
Requires the Secretary of Defense to select at least five military installations to participate in the program and choose those where military students would most benefit from expanded education options.
Directs the Secretary of Defense to use a random process to select scholarship recipients if more students apply for the scholarships than can be accommodated.
Requires the Secretary to return to the Treasury specified amounts made available for Department of Education salaries and expenses.