Voluntary Public School Choice

To support efforts to establish or expand intradistrict, interdistrict, and open enrollment public school choice programs to provide parents, particularly parents whose children attend low-performing public schools, with expanded education options and with greater choice for their children's education.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Grant funds support: planning and implementation costs associated with new programs; tuition transfer payments to public schools that students choose to attend; and efforts to strengthen the capacity and quality of schools to meet the demand for choice and provide equitable access to such programs.

Agency - Department of Education

The Department of Education ensures equal access to education and promotes educational excellence through coordination, management and accountability in Federal education programs. The Department works to supplement and complement educational efforts on all levels, encouraging increased involvement by the public, parents and students.

Program Accomplishments

Fourteen new awards were made in fiscal year 2007.

Uses and Use Restrictions

An eligible entity that receives a grant under this subpart may use the grant funds for: (1) planning or designing a program (for not more than 1 year); (2) the cost of making tuition transfer payments to public elementary schools or secondary schools to which students transfer under the program; (3) the cost of capacity-enhancing activities that enable high-demand public elementary schools or secondary schools to accommodate transfer requests under the program; (4) the cost of carrying out public education campaigns to inform students and parents about the program; and (5) other costs reasonably necessary to implement the program.

An eligible entity that receives a grant under this subpart may not use the grant funds for school construction.

The eligible entity may use not more than 5 percent of the funds made available through the grant for any fiscal year for administrative expenses.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

State educational agencies (SEAs); local educational agencies (LEAs); or a partnership of either 1(a)one or more SEAs; (b) one or more LEAs or other public, for-profit, or nonprofit entities; and 2(a) one or more LEAs and (b) one or more public, for-profit, or nonprofit entities may apply.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Public school students.



Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Not applicable.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.


"Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

Applications must be prepared and submitted in accordance with a notice published in the Federal Register. By the due date, eligible applicants must submit to the Department of Education a complete application that addresses the purposes of the program, the selection criteria, and any priorities included in the application notice, and includes all required assurances and signatures.

Award Procedures

The Department of Education awards these grants on a competitive basis. The program office notifies successful applicants of awards, negotiates final budgets, and awards grants. Contact the program office for more information.


Deadlines will be published in the Federal Register. Contact the program office for application deadlines and information.


Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended; Title V, Part B, Subpart 3; 20 U.S.C. 7225-7225g.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

The range of approval/disapproval time is approximately 60 to 120 days following the application deadline.


The General Education Provisions Act hearing procedures regarding recovery of funds are applicable to this program.


Continuation awards are subject to the availability of appropriations.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements


Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Awards may be made for up to five years. Continuation awards are subject to the availability of appropriations.

Post Assistance Requirements


Each eligible entity receiving a grant under this program annually shall submit to the Secretary a report of its operations and activities.


The financial records of each eligible entity receiving a grant under this subpart shall be maintained in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and shall be subject to an annual audit by an independent public accountant.


In accordance with the General Education Provisions Act and the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR), certain records must be retained for three years after the end of the grant.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $26,278,000; FY 08 est $25,819,000; and FY 09 est $25,819,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

The average award in fiscal year 2007 was $1,844,000. Range of new awards: $95,600 - $2,700,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR), Parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Department of Education, OII Parental Options and Information 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Washington DC 20202-6140. Contact: Iris Lane, E-mail: iris.lane@ed.gov Telephone (202) 260-1999.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The selection criteria contained in EDGAR, 34 CFR 75.209 and 75.210 are used to evaluate applications.

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