View Amendment Current Amendment: 19 to Bill 935

Rep. OTT proposes the following Amendment No. to S. 935 (COUNCIL\WAB\935C040.RT.WAB22):

Reference is to Printer's Date 4/28/22-H.

Amend the bill, as and if amended, SECTION 2, by striking Section 59-8-110(A)(6) and inserting:

/ (6)(a) 'Qualifying student' means a student who is a resident of this State who will enter sixth grade in School Year 2023-2024 and:

( i) is enrolled in the Children 's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or Medicaid or is a member of a household with an income at or below the South Carolina upper income limit for CHIP; and

(ii) was previously enrolled in and attended a South Carolina public school during one of the three school years immediately preceding the school year in which the student would be enrolled under this program.

(b) Students participating in the Educational Credit for Exceptional Needs Children 's Fund program as provided in Section 12-6-3790 are not considered to be qualifying students for the purposes of this chapter. /

Amend the bill further, SECTION 2, by striking Section 59-8-130(A) and inserting:

/(A) The department shall ensure that qualifying students and their parents are informed of which eligible schools are participating in the program. In School Year 2022-2023, the department shall create a standard application process for parents to establish the eligibility of their student to participate in the program through School Year 2025-2026. The department shall ensure that the application is readily available to interested parents through various sources, including the Internet. /

Amend the bill further, SECTION 2, by striking Section 59-8-130(B)(1) and inserting:

/ (1) The department shall set a deadline for the receipt of applications in School Year 2022-2023. Applications are restricted to the first year of the program and new applications will not be accepted in School Years 2023-2024 through 2025-2026. In the event the number of eligible students exceeds five hundred by the deadline, the department shall award on a first come first served basis to award scholarships. Students already participating in the program are automatically approved for participation through School Year 2025-2026. /

Amend the bill further, SECTION 2, by striking Section 59-8-130 (B)(2).

Amend the bill further, SECTION 2, by striking Section 59-8-160(A) and inserting:

/(A) In the first year in which the account is funded, up to five hundred scholarships may be awarded in an amount that fully funds tuition and all associated fees to a qualifying student at an eligible school each semester. The department may not issue debit cards, but shall distribute funds through an online system directly to a qualifying student. The department shall procure a system that can create the scholarship accounts and process cost of attendance and qualifying expenses. /

Amend the bill further, SECTION 2, by striking Section 59-8-160(B) and inserting:

/(B)(1) Before awarding a scholarship, the department shall document the student 's eligibility with the following documentation:

(a) a card issued in the student 's name from the Department of Health and Human Services for Medicaid eligibility or Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility; or

(b) other documentation as the department may require to demonstrate that the family income is equal to the poverty level of Medicaid eligibility.

(2) Upon approving the application, the department shall create an online account for the qualifying student that the parent or legal guardian can access using a secure portal. The individual student account must be created within thirty days of approval of the application.

(3) If a qualifying student leaves or withdraws from the eligible school for any reason before the end of the semester or school year and does not reenroll within thirty days, or if the qualifying student graduates from or chooses to permanently leave a qualifying school, then the balance in the scholarship account must revert to the contingency reserve fund.

(4) Any funds not expended in an individual student's scholarship account at the end of the school year will be carried forward into the next school year and expended for the same student for the same purposes. /