SB 1025
Establishes the Child Safety Scholarship Program, which authorizes educational scholarships for qualified students who have experienced a school safety issue
LR Number:
Last Action:
3/12/2020 - Second Read and Referred S Government Reform Committee
Journal Page:
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2020

Current Bill Summary

SB 1025 - This act establishes the Child Safety Scholarship Program, which authorizes educational scholarships for qualified students who have experienced a school safety issue.

For all fiscal years beginning on or after July 1, 2021, any taxpayer who makes a qualifying contribution to the newly created Child Safety Scholarship Fund may claim a tax credit in an amount equal to 100% of the amount the taxpayer contributed during the tax year for which the credit is claimed.

The amount of the tax credit claimed shall not exceed 50% of the taxpayer's state tax liability for the tax year. A taxpayer may carry the credit forward to any of such taxpayer's five subsequent years.

The cumulative amount of tax credits that may be allocated to all taxpayers contributing to the fund in any one calendar year shall not exceed $25 million. Each year that the tax credit donations meet 90% of the yearly limit, the limit shall be increased by 25% the following year.

Tax credits shall be allocated on a first come, first served basis among all contributing taxpayers.

(Section 135.782).

The State Treasurer shall establish a process to accept certified donation pledges and provide certificates to the certified donor, and shall also meet other requirements set forth in the act, including ensuring that no donation is directed to a specified student or school. The State Treasurer may authorize donations for a specific type of qualified school, or for students affected by a specific type of safety issue.

The State Treasurer shall also create a receipt to be provided to the donor, certifying the amount of the donation.

If the total amount of donations from all donors exceed the allowable tax credits for such tax year, the State Treasurer shall pro-rate the certified donation amounts across such donors for such tax year, and ensure that any amount over such reduced amounts would be uncertified and not eligible for a tax credit.

(Section 135.784)

Under this act, upon receipt of a report of an issue of school safety at a qualified school, which shall include charter schools and public and private schools, such school shall submit a copy of the report to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and shall also provide a copy to each family and educator involved in the school safety issue.

A school safety issue, defined in the act, includes any incidence of bullying, sexual harassment, gang activity, shootings, or drug use.

The Department shall conduct an investigation of the report, and shall complete such investigation not later than 15 days after receiving the report, to determine whether the report has merit. The qualified school shall then inform the parents involved whether or not the investigation has determined that a school safety issue exists and, if a safety issue exists, that the parent has the opportunity to receive an educational scholarship for his or her child, to be deposited into a qualifying student's 529 account, and to transfer the qualifying student to a qualifying school.

A parent receiving an educational scholarship for his or her child shall sign an agreement with the State Treasurer ensuring that such parent shall enroll the qualified student in a qualified school to receive an education for the student in certain subjects; not enroll the student, other than a student that is in the custody of the state, in a school operated by the qualified student's district of residence or in a charter school; and shall release the district of residence from the obligation of educating the student while the student is enrolled in the program.

A private entity shall be chosen by the State Treasurer to administer the 529 accounts and shall meet certain requirements set forth in the act, including opening a 529 account for any qualifying student who does not already have an open 529 account.

Educational scholarships are renewable on an annual basis upon request of the parent of a qualified child, until the child graduates from high school. If a qualified student withdraws from the program by enrolling in a school other than a qualified school, or is disqualified from the program for violations specified in the act, any remaining funds shall be returned to the State Treasurer for redistribution to other qualified students. When a student withdraws from the program, the responsibility for providing an education for that student transfers back to the student's district of residence.

The funds remaining in the 529 account at the end of a school year shall remain in the account for the following school year. Any funds remaining in the 529 account after graduation shall remain in the account and shall only be used for postsecondary expenses.

(Section 166.650)

Beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, the State Treasurer shall conduct or contract for an annual audit of accounts to ensure compliance. A parent may be disqualified from program participation if the State Treasurer determines that the parent is found to have committed an intentional program violation. The State Treasurer may refer cases of substantial misuse of moneys to the Attorney General.

(Section 166.652)

A person commits a Class A misdemeanor if he or she is found to have knowingly used moneys for any purposes other than those set forth in the act.

(Section 166.654)



No Amendments Found.