The bill repeals the early childhood educator development scholarship program that exists within the department of education.
The bill creates the early childhood educator development fund (fund) within the department of human services (state department). The fund consists of general fund appropriations and gifts, grants, or donations that the state department may receive. The state department must distribute the moneys in the fund to tax-exempt nonprofit corporations or institutions of higher education (qualifying entities) for scholarship programs to assist early childhood education professionals in obtaining a postsecondary credential in early childhood education.
A qualifying entity may apply for a scholarship grant as provided in rules of the state board of human services (state board). The state department will review the applications and make recommendations to the state board. The state board will award scholarship grants to qualifying entities based on criteria established in rules. At a minimum, the state department and the state board must consider whether the qualifying entity's scholarship program aligns with state priorities for professional development for early childhood education professionals. The state department will annually submit a report to the state board, the governor, and the general assembly concerning the use of the moneys in the fund.
The state department may enter into a contract or interagency agreement with an entity, including another state agency, to exercise the duties assigned to the state department in the bill. The amount the entity receives cannot exceed the amount of direct and indirect administrative costs that the state department is authorized to expend.
The bill creates the department of education administrative cash fund to enable the department of education to accept and receive appropriations of payments for administrative costs that it receives for operating a grant program pursuant to an interagency agreement.