2021 Session

Budget Amendments - HB1800 (Member Request)

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Chief Patron: Cox
Reimbursement for Education Access Decisions (READ) Fund (language only)

Item 145 #13h

Item 145 #13h

Direct Aid to Public Education


Page 198, after line 4, insert:

"45. Reimbursement for Education Access Decisions (READ) Fund

a. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to support the students and their families across the state that have been adversely impacted, the Department of Education is directed to provide an amount not to exceed $9,800,000 from the Reimbursement for Education Access Decisions (READ) Fund to provide funds to school boards that establish a READ program to reimburse parents or legal guardians for eligible costs incurred to provide an alternative education opportunity for their children.

b. School boards that have established such a READ program, will reimburse parents or legal guardians for the state's share of up to $4,042 for eligible costs incurred for (i) tutoring services; (ii) educational therapies and services for students from a practitioner or provider, including paraprofessionals and educational aides; (iii) tuition and fees for a private online learning program; (iv) fees for a nationally standardized norm-referenced achievement test, an Advanced Placement examination, or any examination taken to gain admission to an institution of higher education; (v) transportation; (vi) computer hardware and software; and (vii) consumable educational supplies and any other education-related goods and services, such as Internet access, that are necessary for the provision of the student's education. School boards may request up to half of the reimbursement amount from the Department via the READ Fund, and may use any other federal and local funds to pay for the remaining portion of the reimbursement.

c. The Governor is hereby authorized to direct an amount not to exceed $9,800,000 from federal funds provided through the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (P.L. 116-123), the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (P.L. 116-127), the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136), Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (P.L. 116-260) or any other federal funding provided through subsequent legislation approved by Congress with regard to the Coronavirus public health emergency, to the Reimbursement for Education Access Decisions (READ) Fund for the purpose of addressing the COVID-19 pandemic impact."


(This amendment provides $9.8 million from federal COVID-19 relief funds to assist school divisions opting to create Reimbursement for Education Access Decisions (READ) programs to reimburse parents and guardians for certain alternative education opportunities for their children. The local programs would reimburse parents an amount of up to the state share of $4,042, based on the local composite index, and school divisons could recoup half of that reimbursement amount through the READ fund.)