Voucher Programs: Private school participation standards


Voucher Programs: Private school participation standards

March 2017


 

Private school participation standards
Arkansas Succeed Scholarship Program
  • Meet accreditation requirements for the State Board of Education, the Arkansas Nonpublic School Accrediting Association, or another approved accrediting association.
  • Comply with all policies governing private schools.
  • Be in operation for at least one year and demonstrate fiscal soundness.
  • Employ teachers with baccalaureate degrees or higher.
  • Be academically accountability to parents for meeting students' needs.
  • Administer an assessment yearly or, for students exempt from assessments, provide parents with a portfolio on student progress.
  • Adhere to their published disciplinary procedures before expelling a participating student. 
District of Columbia D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program
  • Schools operating less than five years must provide proof of fiscal soundness.
  • Ensure core subject teachers have a baccalaureate or equivalent degree.
  • Maintain accreditation or be pursuing accreditation by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency and make that information readily available to prospective students. 
  • Agree to site visits by the organization administering the program.
  • Report to parents on their child's academic achievement and the school's accreditation status.
Florida John M. McKay Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program
  • Comply with the state's private school standards.
  • Be in operation at least 3 school years and demonstrate fiscal soundness. Schools open for less than three years must obtain a surety bond or letter of credit equal to the amount of voucher funds they receive in one quarter.
  • Employ teachers with baccalaureate or higher degrees and with at least three years' teaching experience or have special skills qualifying them to provide instruction in subjects taught.
  • Provide annual compliance statement to department of education.
  • Provide parents with an annual student progress report.
  • Allow students to take a statewide assessment at parents' request.
  • Participating schools with a transition-to-work program must meet certain requirements.
The Department of Education must annually verify the eligibility of participating private schools and conduct random site visits at up to three schools per year to verify compliance and enrollment.
Georgia Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program
  • Demonstrate fiscal soundness by being open at least one year or submitting a financial information report.
  • Comply with the state's laws for private schools.
  • Regularly report to parents on students' academic progress.
  • Employ teachers meeting with a bachelor's degree or higher or have at least three years' experience, plus annually provide teacher credentialing information to parents.
Indiana Choice Scholarship Program
  • Maintain accreditation by the state or a regional agency.
  • Administer either statewide assessments or nationally recognized assessments.
  • Submit specific student performance data to the state for accountability purposes.
  • Certify annually that the school is complying with requirements. 
  • If the number of applicants for an eligible school exceeds space available, the school must hold a lottery.
The Department of Education must make random visits to at least five percent of participating schools each school year.
Louisiana School Choice Program for Certain Students with Exceptionalities
  • Must have been open and providing educational services to students with defined disabilities for at least two years prior to participating in the program.
  • Teachers must have appropriate special education certification or training.
  • Schools have discretion in enrolling eligible students. Specifically, schools may decide the types of qualifying disabilities the school is willing to serve,  the numbers of students it will accept in a school year, and established enrollment criteria. 
Louisiana Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence
  • Be approved as a private school by the State Board. 
  • Schools may not require additional student eligibility criteria beyond those outlined in state policy.
  • Voucher student enrollment at private schools open for two years or less must be 20 percent or less of student enrollment.
  • Voucher students at participating schools are included in an accountability system created by the Department of Education for participating students at participating schools.
  • Provide financial audits to the Department of Education.
  • Schools may give enrollment preference to students in certain parishes. 
  • Private schools are only required to offer special education services to participating students needing those services if the school already provides them and has done so with appropriately credentialed teachers for at least two years prior. Private schools may partner with a local school system to provide special education services.
  • Participating public schools must have received a letter grade of A or B in the most recent school year.
Maine Town Tuitioning
  • Private schools may only receive publicly-funded students if the school meets the state's basic requirements for private school.
  • Schools enrolling 60 percent or more publicly-funded students must be accredited by an outside association and meet the requirements of the state's system of learning results.
  • A private school receiving state funds must provide the Commissioner of Education any information that may be required, and the Commissioner may request an audit. 
  • Participating schools must be nonsectarian.
The governing bodies of the school district and private school may establish a joint committee to select teachers, set teacher salaries, arrange a course of study, supervise instruction, and oversee other educational activities. The superintendent of the school district in which the private school is located should participate in the committee.

Nonprofit organizations not otherwise approved as a private school may participate if they meet specific requirements.
Maryland Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today Program
  • Participate in the state's Aid to Non-Public Schools Program for textbooks and computers.
  • Serve at least one grade level beyond kindergarten.
  • Administer state assessments.
Mississippi Mississippi Dyslexia Therapy Scholarship for Students with Dyslexia
Participating schools must maintain the following staff: an administrator or director with training in dyslexia; a licensed dyslexia therapist; dyslexia therapists in training participating in approved programs; licensed elementary school teachers supervised by a licensed dyslexia therapist. 

Participating private schools must adhere to the following requirements: 
  • Maintain accreditation by the state as a special purpose school.
  • Provide an annual report to parents on the student's progress. 
  • Report to the state the number of students with dyslexia enrolled in private schools to determine state funding for the subsequent year. 
  • Have their financial records audited yearly by the State Auditor.
Mississippi Nate Rogers Scholarship for Students with Disabilities / Mississippi Speech-Language Therapy Scholarship for Students with Speech-Language Impairments
  • Maintain accreditation by the state as a special purpose school.
  • Provide an annual report to parents on the student's progress. 
  • Report to the state the number of enrolled participating students to determine state funding for the subsequent year. 
  • Employ qualified speech-language pathologists.
  • Have their financial records audited yearly by the State Auditor.
North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship
  • Provide a annual progress report to parents.
  • Administer a nationally standardized test and report results to the state.
  • Annual financial audit.
  • Provide the state with information about graduation rates for participating students.
  • Participating schools may not require additional fees from participating students. 
  • Private schools enrolling more than 25 participating students must provide the state with aggregate test performance data for participating students.
North Carolina Special Education Scholarships for Children with Disabilities
Participating private schools must meet the state's requirements for private schools. 
Ohio Autism Scholarship Program
  • Education services must be provided by qualified, credentialed providers.
  • Private schools must be approved by the Department of Education.
Ohio Cleveland Scholarship Program
  • Located within city limits. High schools must be up to 5 miles outside of city limits.
  • Registered with the state superintendent.
  • Meet class size requirements.
  • May not charge tuition for students in grades K-8 beyond the voucher amount for students at or below 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines. For students in grades 9-12, schools may not charge tuition to students beyond the voucher amount.
  • Participating schools give priority enrollment to returning students and their siblings. Schools also must give priority to students meeting income guidelines until income-eligible students comprise up to 20 percent of total school enrollment for the previous school year. 
Ohio EdChoice Expansion Program
  • Must have a a charter from the State Board of Education.
  • May not charge beyond the voucher amount for students with household incomes at or below 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines.
  • If the private school charges participating students tuition beyond the voucher amount, the school must report to the state the number of students charged and the average amount.
  • Administer state assessments.
Ohio Educational Choice Scholarship Program
  • Must have a a charter from the state board of education.
  • May not charge beyond the voucher amount for students with household incomes at or below 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines.
  • If the private school charges participating students tuition beyond the voucher amount, the school must report to the state the number of students charged and the average amount.
  • Administer state assessments.
Ohio Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program
  • Private schools must be chartered by the State Board of Education or, if not chartered by the state, meet several requirements and be approved by the Department of Education.
  • Participating school employees must be appropriately credentialed.
  • The school's educational program must be approved by the Department of Education.
  • Maintain records on IEP implementation for participating students.
  • Administer state assessments to participating students. 
Oklahoma Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program
  • Meet state's accreditation standards.
  • Demonstrate fiscal soundness and in operation for at least one year.
  • Be accountable to parents for meeting students' academic and emotional needs.
  • Teachers must have baccalaureate degrees or higher or meet certain requirements.
  • Adhere to the school's published disciplinary procedures before expelling a participating student. 
  • Comply with all state laws applicable to private schools.
Utah Carson Smith Scholarships for Students with Special Needs
  • Demonstrate fiscal soundness by submitting a financial audit.
  • Administer an annual assessment to participating students.
  • Employ teachers with baccalaureate or higher degrees who have at least three years of teaching or meet other specific criteria and provide credentials to parents.
  • Be approved by the State Board of Education.
Vermont Town Tuitioning
The state will only pay tuition for students attending approved private schools meeting education quality standards. If the private school is in another state or country, the school must be approved under the laws of the state or country.
Wisconsin Milwaukee Parental Choice Program
  • All teachers and administrators have a teacher license or meet other requirements.
  • Maintain accreditation by an accrediting agency.
  • Administer state assessments.
  • Provide minimum yearly instruction of 1,050 hours for grades 1-6 and 1,137 hours for grades 7-12.
  • Schools may only reject students for capacity issues. If applications exceed capacity, the school must hold a lottery and give preference to previous students, siblings of previously enrolled students, students attending another private school under the choice program and their siblings.
  • May not charge tuition beyond the voucher amount for students in grades K-8 and students in high school with household incomes at or below 220 percent of federal poverty guidelines. However, schools may charge reasonable fees for various things, although unpaid fees cannot affect a student's grades.
  • Meet at least one of the following standards for participating students: at least 70 percent advance one grade level each year; average yearly attendance rate of 90 percent; at least 80 percent demonstrate significant academic progress; at least 70 percent of families meet parent involvement criteria established by the school.
  • Provide evidence of fiscal soundness and meet financial requirements.
  • Adopt standards in math, science, reading and writing, geography, and history.
  • Maintain progress records for each student.
  • Hold two meetings per year where members of the school's governing body can interact with participating students and prospective scholarship students.
Wisconsin Racine Parental Private School Choice Program
  • All teachers and administrators have a teacher license or meet other requirements.
  • Maintain accreditation by an accrediting agency.
  • Administer state assessments.
  • Provide minimum yearly instruction of 1,050 hours for grades 1-6 and 1,137 hours for grades 7-12.
  • Schools may only reject students for capacity issues. If applications exceed capacity, the school must hold a lottery and give preference to previous students, siblings of previously enrolled students, students attending another private school under the choice program and their siblings.
  • May not charge tuition beyond the voucher amount for students in grades K-8 and students in high school with household incomes at or below 220 percent of federal poverty guidelines. However, schools may charge reasonable fees for various things, although unpaid fees cannot affect a student's grades.
  • Meet at least one of the following standards for participating students: at least 70 percent advance one grade level each year; average yearly attendance rate of 90 percent; at least 80 percent demonstrate significant academic progress; at least 70 percent of families meet parent involvement criteria established by the school.
  • Provide evidence of fiscal soundness and meet financial requirements.
  • Adopt standards in math, science, reading and writing, geography, and history.
  • Maintain progress records for each student.
  • Hold two meetings per year where members of the school's governing body can interact with participating students and prospective scholarship students.
Wisconsin Special Needs Scholarship Program
  • Provide an annual financial audit to the state.
  • If the private school expects to receive $50,000 or more in voucher payments during a school year, do one of the following at the start of each school year: File a surety bond with the state equal to 25 percent of the amount of voucher payments expected to be received during the school year or provide other financial information with the state.
  • Provide potential students with a profile of the school's special education program, including qualifications of teachers providing instruction and methods used to provide instruction.
  • Implement the student's IEP and other related services agreed on by the parents and school and provide the student's resident school district with a progress report at the district's request.
  • Regularly report to the parents on the student's progress.
Wisconsin Wisconsin Parental Choice Program
  • All teachers and administrators have a teacher license or meet other requirements.
  • Maintain accreditation by an accrediting agency.
  • Administer state assessments.
  • Provide minimum yearly instruction of 1,050 hours for grades 1-6 and 1,137 hours for grades 7-12.
  • Schools may only reject students for capacity issues. If applications exceed capacity, the school must hold a lottery and give preference to previous students, siblings of previously enrolled students, students attending another private school under the choice program and their siblings.
  • May not charge tuition beyond the voucher amount for students in grades K-8 and students in high school with household incomes at or below 220 percent of federal poverty guidelines. However, schools may charge reasonable fees for various things, although unpaid fees cannot affect a student's grades.
  • Meet at least one of the following standards for participating students: at least 70 percent advance one grade level each year; average yearly attendance rate of 90 percent; at least 80 percent demonstrate significant academic progress; at least 70 percent of families meet parent involvement criteria established by the school.
  • Provide evidence of fiscal soundness and meet financial requirements.
  • Adopt standards in math, science, reading and writing, geography, and history.
  • Maintain progress records for each student.
  • Hold two meetings per year where members of the school's governing body can interact with participating students and prospective scholarship students.

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