Fund to help students get into better schools
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The state Education Department is calling on public and private schools to sign up to receive students who are eligible for scholarship funds through the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit.
The new statewide program will allow students in the lowest-achieving 15 percent of schools across the state to receive funding to attend a private or other higher-performing public school. The list of lowest-performing schools holds 414 public schools across the state, including 53 from Allegheny County.
Schools that are not currently on the list of lowest-performing schools can sign up until Aug. 15 with the Education Department to accept students who receive opportunity scholarships for the 2012-13 school year. A list of approved schools will be available after Aug. 15 on the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development's website.
Schools that are approved to receive scholarship students cannot charge more than their set tuition rate and must hold a lottery to determine enrollment if the influx of scholarship students exceeds capacity, according to state guidelines.
Students who live within the attendance boundaries of one of the lowest-achieving schools can apply for a scholarship if their household's annual income does not exceed $60,000, plus $12,000 for each dependent member of the household. Maximum scholarship awards for most students will be $8,500, with special education students eligible for up to $15,000 for a year's tuition.
First Published August 5, 2012 12:00 am