Code of the District of Columbia

§ 38–1853.04. General authority.

(a) Opportunity Scholarships. —

(1) In general. — From funds appropriated under § 38-1853.14(a)(1), the Secretary shall award grants on a competitive basis to eligible entities with approved applications under § 38-1853.05 to carry out a program to provide eligible students with expanded school choice opportunities. The Secretary may award a single grant or multiple grants, depending on the quality of applications submitted and the priorities of this chapter.

(2) Duration of grants. — The Secretary may make grants under this subsection for a period of not more than 5 years.


(A) IN GENERAL.— In carrying out the program under this division, the Secretary may not limit the number of eligible students receiving scholarships under § 38-1853.07(a), and may not prevent otherwise eligible students from participating in the program under this division, based on any of the following:

(i) The type of school the student previously attended.

(ii) Whether or not the student previously received a scholarship or participated in the program, including whether an eligible student was awarded a scholarship in any previous year but has not used the scholarship, regardless of the number of years of nonuse.

(iii) Whether or not the student was a member of the control group used by the Institute of Education Sciences to carry out previous evaluations of the program under § 38-1853.09.

(B) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.— Nothing in subparagraph (A) may be construed to waive the requirement under § 38-1853.05(b)(1)(B) that the eligible entity carrying out the program under this chapter must carry out a random selection process, which gives weight to the priorities described in § 38-1853.06, if more eligible students seek admission in the program than the program can accommodate.

(b) D.C. Public Schools and Charter Schools. — From funds appropriated under paragraphs (2) and (3) of § 38-1853.14(a), the Secretary shall provide funds to the Mayor of the District of Columbia, if the Mayor agrees to the requirements described in § 38-1853.11(a), for—

(1) the District of Columbia public schools to improve public education in the District of Columbia; and

(2) the District of Columbia public charter schools to improve and expand quality public charter schools in the District of Columbia.