An Act To Create Education Savings Accounts for Students with Special Needs
Sec. 1. 20-A MRSA §7303 is enacted to read:
§ 7303. Education savings accounts
The department shall, in accordance with this section, establish education savings accounts, referred to in this section as "savings accounts," for children with disabilities. Savings accounts may be used by the parents or legal guardians of such children for educational purposes in accordance with this section.
(1) Tuition and fees at a private primary or secondary school;
(3) Educational therapies;
(4) Tutoring by a certified teacher or education technician II or III;
(5) Online classes;
(6) Test fees;
(7) Services provided by a public school, including access to or enrollment in extracurricular activities or individual classes;
(8) Reimbursement of fees for transportation related to the child's education, for which receipts must be provided to the department, up to $500 in any one year;
(9) Consumable materials relating to educational activities, up to $100 in any one year; and
(10) Tuition and fees at a university or vocational school recognized by the department in accordance with rules adopted by the department or accredited by a regional accrediting agency approved or recognized by the United States Department of Education.
A parent or legal guardian of a child may not use funds in a savings account to pay in cash for any educational expense under this paragraph.
Sec. 2. 20-A MRSA §15689, sub-§14 is enacted to read:
This bill directs the Department of Education to establish education savings accounts for children with disabilities that may be used by the parents or legal guardians of such children for certain educational purposes. The funding for these accounts would come from shifting 90% of the essential programs and services funding that would otherwise be provided by the State and the school administrative unit for the child into the savings account. The bill provides mechanisms for approval of educational expenditures and review of spending from the accounts.