By LuAnne Schendel January 2017
Expanding the PLSA program by revising the age-out date and allowing for additional eligibility factors… PLSA was renamed as the Gardiner Scholarship and expanded. Funding was increased.
Allowing private schools to pass along convenience fee for paying by credit card for tuition and other educational expenses… Private schools are now exempted from the prohibition against charging convenience fees on credit card purchases.
Restoring the per-child scholarship amounts under the VPK program to pre-recession or 2007-2008 levels… A proposal for a $37/child increase in the BSA for VPK made progress in the House but funding at the current rate eventually prevailed. The House and Senate Appropriations Committees could not reach agreement.
Establishing a higher scholarship amount for high school students served under the FTC scholarship program… An increase in the per-child scholarship under the FTC program was deferred until 2017.
Regarding funding, past FAANS President Howard Burke noted that state and federal dollars are used to fund McKay scholarships, whereas Gardiner scholarships use state funds only, and Step Up scholarships do not use state nor federal funds. Also, if a public school district sends a therapist to a school, the school is receiving federal funds.