School Choice

Parents Should Be Able to Choose What Works for Their Student


The Virginia First Foundation is pleased to be supporting Delegate David LaRock's Parental Choice Educational Savings Account (PCESA) Bill, HB1605. We support parental responsibility to seek out the best education they can for their children.

This bill would promote local accountability, while allowing parents to make choices that are the best fit for their student.

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Overview 

  • Parents of eligible public school student (enrolled in public school for minimum of 1 full school year) may commit to providing an education that complies with state law.
  • Parents and local school division set up a Parental Choice Education Savings Account (PCESA)
  • Spending is restricted to approved educational expenditures; no other money goes into this account.

 

Accountability

Parents must submit expenditure receipts quarterly to the school division, prior to receiving funds for the next quarter.

Account expenditures will be subject to audit, and improper use of funds will be subject to fines, penalties, and / or prosecution.


PCESA Funding Source

90% of the eligible per student state SOQ funding allocated for that child into an education savings account. The remaining 10% of the state funding is applied towards administrative expenses.

100% of the eligible per student state SOQ funding allocated for that child into an education savings account for students (a) with an IEP (b) suspended or expelled, (c) who failed any Standards of Learning assessment during its last administration, or (d) families below 300% of Federal poverty level.

Local funding dollars will be retained by the local school district for every child using a PCESA. This will mean more dollars per student for public schools without raising taxes.

Qualified educational expenses include:

  • Tutoring
  • Curriculum
  • Online classes
  • Private school tuition or fees
  • Testing costs
  • Educational Therapies
  • Coverdell contributions
  • Insurance or surety bonds as required for the savings account
  • Transportation
  • Computer Hardware and Software (capped)
  • Educational supplies

Administration

The PCESA program administration will co-exist with and build upon the existing Virginia Education Improvement Scholarship Tax Credit (EISTC) program and use existing VDOE and Local School District administrative mechanisms to the greatest practicable extent, thereby minimizing additional administrative costs.

Like Virginia’s VTAG (Virginia Tuition Assistance Grants), state education dollars flow to individuals who shop for an education setting of their choice. This PCESA serves as a vehicle which gives children access to innovative educational opportunities in an open marketplace. Whether it’s students with learning disabilities or kids with exceptional academic potential or any in between, the convenience and flexibility works for everyone.

 

For more information about the bill click here. 

For more information about the Appropriations Sub-Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education click here. 

To contact Appropriations Sub-Committee Chair, Delegate Jimmy Massie click here

 

 


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Tuesday, November 3, 2015