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Recks

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  1. Senate Majority Leader Luke Recks (R-AZ) Utah State University - Logan, UT Well, hello Utah State! It is a pleasure to be up here to take part in a national dialogue about the role of America in the Middle East, in particular with regards to our close friend and ally, the State of Israel. I came out here today to do two things: first, to express my support for Israel as our closest partner and ally in the region; and second, to reaffirm the fundamental American principle of freedom of speech - especially on college campuses. Interestingly enough, President Trump has played an important role in developing promoting both of these issues - and I believe they are issues where we can all find some common ground. As Senate Majority Leader, I speak for my caucus, and indeed, I hope for the entire Senate, in affirming the right of Israel's existence! America has long stood alongside Israel as a close friend and ally. Our shared heritage - from the Judeo-Christian faith to being born amid violence to doing good for the world - is important. But the fact that Israel has had our back, just as we have had theirs, makes our bond especially important. Israel, for all of its successes, still faces a hostile region with bad actors like Iran vowing to wipe it off the face of the globe. Even here are home, the BDS movement - led by radical anti-Semites - is antithetical to the principles upon which our nation was built, and the principles upon which we have developed as the world's beacon for democracy and liberty. That being said, we must defeat BDS in the battlefield of ideas. Because when we take steps to prohibit speech, when we limit allowable expression, we do two great disservices to our own cause. First, it leads to an echo chamber within anti-Semitic communities that could easily lead to radicalization and, though we pray it not come to it, violence. Lone wolfs, indoctrinated over the internet, are a serious threat to Israel and to our Jewish community here in the United States. By giving them grievances - real of imagined - such as kicking them off campus, we are only doing more harm than good. The second major disservice is the potential for a slippery slope. I believe this is what President Trump recognized when he issued a free speech executive order not too long ago. A famous expression on the classically liberal defense of free speech is worth bearing in mind: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." This is what our brave men and women do everyday when they don the uniform of the United States and salute our flag. They don't care whether you are a Jew or a Christian, a Muslim or agnostic. They will defend your rights as an American citizen no matter what. I believe the case for banning BDS for Utah State is wrong-headed and weak. We must allow these ideas to be directly confronted, to promote discourse rather than allow violence. I firmly support the State of Israel - from the Golan Heights in the north to Eliat in the south - but I also have pledged myself to our sacred Constitution. We can support both - and that is the path urge the student government to undertake! Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America!
  2. Recks

    @RecksAZ

    @RecksAZ: In my speech in Missoula, I publicly invited @JoeDotson to join me in creating a #Bipartisan working group to fund infrastructure investment. Looking forward to his response.
  3. Recks

    @RecksAZ

    @RecksAZ: Just spoke to @CommonCause at the University of Montana about the need for #Bipartisan #InfrastructureReform. It is an urgent issue, and we need to develop a real, lasting solution.
  4. Senate Majority Leader Luke Recks (R-AZ) Common Cause - Missoula, MT Hello, Common Cause, and hello University of Montana. It is nice to be with so many, engaged students and concerned citizens from around the state, region, and nation. The circumstances, however, with the dam burst in nearby Hamilton, just go to show how dire the situation is. In remembrance of the 15 Montanans who lost their lives in the recent disaster, will you please join me in a moment of reflection, a moment of silence. *pauses for 10 seconds* We are reminded, in recent days, that lives are at stake with our ongoing infrastructure failing grade. Before jumping into how we can begin to solve the issue of failing dams, crumbling bridges, and potholed roads, I think it'll help to analyze why noting's been accomplished on this front for decades now. You see, us politicians like to talk the talk but its much harder to walk the walk. We have notoriously short time horizons, but infrastructure has a long-term payouts. There is a severe misalignment of incentives, to use economic agent analysis. What, then, can we do to overcome this issue? I believe the solution must, first and foremost, be bipartisan. Whenever one party goes and spends billions of taxpayer dollars on infrastructure projects without consulting with both parties, we get more bridges to nowhere and less solid investment. That is why I am publicly calling on Senate Minority Leader Joe Dotson to join me in forming a bipartisan working group on infrastructure. The failures here in Montana, and the bridge collapse in Illinois, are just two examples of what can go wrong when we don't address the issues at hand. We must work together while adopting a whole-of-infrastructure approach. When you hear infrastructure reform, I hope you consider the entire package of how we get goods and people from point A to point B. That must include energy investments, the roadways, waterways, and railways that connect our nation. We need fewer excuses and more bipartisan cooperation. And I'm willing to work across the aisle to do just that. Thank you, Montana, for having me here today. God bless you, and God bless the United States of America!
  5. Senate Majority Leader Luke Recks (R-AZ) America First PAC - McAllen, TX My fellow patriots: Hello there, McAllen! Hello there, Texas! It is always a great pleasure to be out here among so many like-minded Americans, people dedicated to the rule of law and to our great Constitution. Under these circumstances, however, with an illegal migrant caravan quickly approaching our southern border - quickly approaching places like McAllen. Friends, today we rally in support of our very system of government - a system of laws, not of men. I say this because I am sympathetic for immigrants who want to come to America. The land of the free has a history of being a haven for legal immigration since its foundation. But that does not mean we are a land of open borders, no matter how hard far-left, anti-American groups like the Open Society Foundation try. For, try as they might, well-meaning American patriots will show up to defend the basic principle of America First! While my colleagues on the far-left are calling for asylum for the illegal caravan making its way towards America as we speak, I heartily disagree. They aren't fleeing state oppression, they're fleeing failed economies. This is as far from legitimate grounds for asylum status as can be! Globalist liberals want to point to international accords, but hear me out: American interests - the interests of the American people - must always come first! We have sworn an oath to the Constitution, and to this nation, and that is to defend our laws. As a border-state Senator, I visit the border on a regular basis. I've seen drug smugglers hauled into custody. And I've seen the brave men and women of ICE, of CBP, doing great work and putting their lives on the line so we don't have to experience the devastation that illegals bring into our nation. Just ask the Steinle family! The days of catch and release must come to an end, and we must focus instead upon programs like eVerify, which work wonderfully when their implemented. We must defund sanctuary cities which refuse to uphold the law of the land. I applaud President Trump, a great leader on pro-America issues, for his bold stance in promoting a border wall. And I am greatly appreciative of him cutting off foreign aid to the worst actors in the region: those states like Honduras which all-but encourage illegals to flood the United States. With news of the caravan picking up vehicles on the way up north, it begs the question: who's funding them? Well, look at Soros' Open Society group, which is paying millions of dollars to the Democratic Party as we speak, all to create a new generation of dependent, consistently-Democratic voters. Fellow American patriots, we need your support come election day. We need your support with your neighbors, your co-workers. We need to continue to promote the rule of law, the Constitution, and yes, we need to promote America First! Thank you all for being here today, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America!
  6. Recks

    @RecksAZ

    @RecksAZ: RT @FlorianWood I voted against a bill that would have essentially been a helicopter drop for the EPA + drinking water (which got money from the Flint bill) while ignoring other needs. I'm pledging overwhelming, comprehensive infrastructure reform, not handouts to govt agencies.
  7. Recks

    @RecksAZ

    @RecksAZ: Proud to unveil STUDENT and TEACHER Acts today, alongside @FlorianWood. Catch our unveiling speeches from the Senate press briefing room here. #EducationReform
  8. IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES Mr. Wood and Mr. Recks introduced (for themselves and Mr. Madison, with thanks to Ms. Sinema) the following bill A BILL To promote excellence in education among teachers nationwide by creating bonuses for educational results and enacting greater teacher accountability and reducing federally-mandated testing intervals. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act shall be referred to as the "Testing Educational outcomes and Academic Centered Honoraria for Educators' Results Act" or “TEACHER Act".  SECTION 2. ENACTMENT AND SEVERABILITY. (a) This Act shall take effect following its Constitutional passage. (b) If any part of this Act is found to be unconstitutional or incompatible with superseding laws or statutes, that part shall be struck void and the remainder of the Act shall remain in effect with the force of law.  SECTION 3. TABLE OF CONTENTS. Sec. 1. Short Title. Sec. 2. Enactment and Severability. Sec. 3. Table of Contents. TITLE I. TEACHER EMPOWERMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY Sec. 101. Teaching Excellence Awards. Sec. 102. Dismissal of Staff for Acute Disciplinary Infractions. Sec. 103. Educator Expense Deduction Increase. TITLE II. STUDENT TESTING IMPROVEMENT Sec. 201. Academic Assessments. TITLE I TEACHER EMPOWERMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY SECTION 101. TEACHING EXCELLENCE AWARDS. (a) The Department of Education shall establish an Educational Excellence Fund for Teaching Excellence Awards (TEAs), to be paid annually to full-time teachers at federally-funded K-12 schools. (b) Defines “achievement rate” for the purposes of this Act as the percentage of a teacher’s students who meet or exceed local and state achievement benchmarks in a given year, as determined by those authorities. (1) This rate does not include students receiving accommodation for physical, mental, or cognitive disabilities. (c) TEAs shall be awarded to teachers in addition to their regular salary at the following rates: (1) 5 percent for teachers with an achievement rate of at a rate of at least 50 percent; (2) 15 percent for teachers with an achievement rate of at least 75 percent; (3) 20 percent for teachers with an achievement rate of at least 90 percent, (A) Teachers achieving a 90 percent achievement rate or higher shall, in addition to their pay award, receive a letter of commendation from the Secretary of Education, (B) A teacher receiving this award shall be entitled to style themselves as a “Nationally-Distinguished Educator”, (4) 30 percent for teachers with an achievement rate of 100 percent, (A) Teachers achieving a 100 percent achievement rate shall, in addition to their pay award, receive a letter of commendation from the President of the United States, (B) A teacher receiving this award shall be entitled to style themselves as a “Presidentially-Distinguished Educator”. (d) Clarifies that teachers are eligible for TEAs regardless of Independent Educator status. (e) A teacher shall be ineligible to receive a TEA if they are found to have unlawfully modified testing documents, provided unlawful aid to students before or during testing, or violated state and federal statutes regarding the accurate reporting of educational achievement. SECTION 102. DISMISSAL OF STAFF FOR ACUTE DISCIPLINARY INFRACTIONS. (a) Any teacher, administrator, or other employee of a school has either (1) been found guilty of a sexual offense toward a minor, (2) been found with clear and convincing evidence, as defined by law, by a school or educational authority through internal investigation to have sexually harassed or behaved inappropriately towards a student, (3) been found with clear and convincing evidence, as defined by law, by a school or educational authority through internal investigation to have verbally, physically, emotionally, or psychologically abused a student, or (4) been found through civil legal action to bear responsibility for an incident of misconduct towards a student – (1) Shall be eligible to have their employment terminated, and (2) Shall no longer be protected by seniority, tenure status, or collective bargaining agreements preventing or obstructing their timely dismissal. (b) Any teacher, administrator, or other employee of a school meeting any of the criteria under section (d) shall be ineligible for employment in any federally-funded public school. SECTION 103. EDUCATOR EXPENSE DEDUCTION INCREASE. 26 U.S.C. § 62(a)(2)(D) is amended by striking “$250” and inserting “$1,000”. TITLE II STUDENT TESTING IMPROVEMENT SECTION 201. ACADEMIC ASSESSMENTS. (a) Amendment.—Section 1111(b)(2)(B)(v)(I) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311(b)(2)(B)(v)), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (Public Law 114–95), is amended to read as follows: “(v) (I) in the case of mathematics and reading or language arts, be administered not less than once during— “(aa) grades 3 through 5;  “(bb) grades 6 through 8; "(cc) grades 9 through 10; and “(dd) grades 11 through 12, except that the SAT, ACT, or similar college admissions assessment may be used to meet this assessment requirement;”. (b) Effective Date.—The amendment made by subsection (a) shall take effect as if enacted on the first of August in the year after the passage of this legislation. PES Sec. 1. Establishes short title as TEACHER Act. Sec. 2. Establishes enactment and severability. Sec. 3. Establishes table of contents. Sec. 101. Establishes Teaching Excellence Awards as an annual bonus based on performance of students, and establishes bonus schedule. Sec. 102. Allows for expedited removal of teachers found to have acute violations. Sec. 103. Increases, from $250 to $1,000, the maximum educator expense deduction. Sec. 201. Reduces testing frequency to only one test per statutorily-defined period.
  9. IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES Mr. Recks and Mr. Wood introduced (for themselves and Mr. Madison, with thanks to Mr. Messer, Mr. Sasse, and Mr. Cruz) the following bill A BILL To expand educational opportunities to students nationwide by allowing certain federal education funds to follow the student, creating military Education Savings Accounts, and expanding the definition of qualified elementary and secondary expenses under 529 plans. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act shall be referred to as the "Standing Tall Under Demonstrable Educational-Need Trends Act" or “STUDENT Act”. SECTION 2. ENACTMENT AND SEVERABILITY. (a) This Act shall generally take effect following its Constitutional passage, except as noted elsewhere in this Act. (b) If any part of this Act is found to be unconstitutional or incompatible with superseding laws or statutes, that part shall be struck void and the remainder of the Act shall remain in effect with the force of law. SECTION 3. TABLE OF CONTENTS. Sec. 1. Short Title. Sec. 2. Enactment and Severability Sec. 3. Table of Contents. TITLE I. ESEA TITLE I PORTABILITY Sec. 101. Title I Portability. Sec. 102. Table of Contents Amendment. TITLE II. MILITARY EDUCATION SAVINGS ACCOUNTS Sec. 201. Military Education Savings Accounts. Sec. 202. Authorization of Appropriations. TITLE III. 529 ACCOUNT FUNDING Sec. 301. 529 Account funding for Homeschool and Additional Elementary and Secondary Expenses. TITLE I ESEA TITLE I PORTABILITY SECTION 101. TITLE I PORTABILITY. Part A of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following: “SEC. 1128. TITLE I FUNDS FOLLOW THE LOW-INCOME CHILD STATE OPTION. “(a) In General.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law and to the extent permitted under State law, a State educational agency may allocate grant funds under this part among the local educational agencies in the State based on the number of eligible children enrolled in the public schools served by each local educational agency and the State-accredited private schools within each local educational agency’s geographic jurisdiction. “(b) Eligible Child.— “(1) DEFINITION.—In this section, the term ‘eligible child’ means a child aged 5 to 17, inclusive, from a family with an income below the poverty level on the basis of the most recent satisfactory data published by the Department of Commerce. “(2) CRITERIA OF POVERTY.—In determining the families with incomes below the poverty level for the purposes of this section, a State educational agency shall use the criteria of poverty used by the Census Bureau in compiling the most recent decennial census, as the criteria have been updated by increases in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “(c) Student Enrollment In Public And Private Schools.— “(1) IDENTIFICATION OF ELIGIBLE CHILDREN.—On an annual basis, on a date to be determined by the State educational agency, each local educational agency that receives grant funding in accordance with subsection (a) shall inform the State educational agency of the number of eligible children enrolled in public schools served by the local educational agency and the State-accredited private schools within the local educational agency’s geographic jurisdiction. “(2) ALLOCATION TO LOCAL EDUCATIONAL AGENCIES.—Based on the identification of eligible children in paragraph (1), the State educational agency shall provide to a local educational agency an amount equal to the sum of the amount available for each eligible child in the State multiplied by the number of eligible children identified by the local educational agency under paragraph (1). “(3) DISTRIBUTION TO SCHOOLS.—Each local educational agency that receives funds under paragraph (2) shall distribute such funds to the public schools served by the local educational agency and State-accredited private schools within the local educational agency’s geographic jurisdiction— “(A) based on the number of eligible children enrolled in such schools; and “(B) in a manner that would, in the absence of such Federal funds, supplement the funds made available from non-Federal resources for the education of pupils participating in programs under this subpart, and not to supplant such funds.”. SECTION 102. TABLE OF CONTENTS AMENDMENT. The table of contents in section 2 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq.) is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 1127 the following: “1128. Title I funds follow the low-income child State option.”. TITLE II MILITARY EDUCATION SAVINGS ACCOUNTS SECTION 101. MILITARY EDUCATION SAVINGS ACCOUNTS. Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 7012 the following: “SEC. 7012A. MILITARY EDUCATION SAVINGS ACCOUNTS. “(a) In General.—The Secretary of Education, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, shall carry out a program under which the Secretary of Education shall— “(1) subject to the availability of funds pursuant to section 7014(f), at the request of a parent of an eligible military dependent child, establish an account on behalf of such child (to be known as a ‘Military Education Savings Account’) into which the Secretary shall deposit funds in an amount determined under subsection (d); and “(2) establish a procedure under which the parent of the child may use funds in the account to pay for the educational expenses of the child in accordance with this section. “(b) Application.— “(1) IN GENERAL.—To be eligible to participate in the program under this section for a school year, a parent of an eligible military dependent child shall submit an application to the Secretary in accordance with this subsection. “(2) APPLICATION PROCESS.—In carrying out paragraph (1), the Secretary shall— “(A) accept applications on a year-round basis and establish procedures for approving applications in an expeditious manner; and “(B) create a standardized form that parents can use to apply for the program and ensure that such form is readily available in written and electronic formats, including on a publicly accessible website. “(3) APPROVAL.—Subject to the availability of funds to carry out this section, the Secretary shall approve the application of a parent to establish a Military Education Savings Account if— “(A) the application is submitted in accordance with the application process established by the Secretary pursuant to this subsection; “(B) the application demonstrates that the child on whose behalf the Military Education Savings Account is to be established is an eligible military dependent child; and “(C) the parent who submits the application enters into a written agreement with the Secretary pursuant to subsection (c). “(4) RENEWALS.—The Secretary shall establish an expedited application process for the renewal of a previously established Military Education Savings Account. “(c) Written Agreement.—As a condition of participating in the program under this section, the parent of a child on whose behalf a Military Education Savings Account is established shall enter into a written agreement with the Secretary under which the parent agrees— “(1) to provide the child with instruction in, at minimum, the fields of reading, language, mathematics, science, and social studies; “(2) to not enroll the child in a public school on a full-time basis while participating in the program; “(3) to use funds in the Military Education Savings Account only for the purposes authorized under this section; and “(4) to comply with all other requirements of this section. “(d) Amount Of Deposits.— “(1) FIRST YEAR OF PROGRAM.—The amount of funds deposited into each Military Education Savings Account for the first school year for which such accounts are established under this section shall be— “(A) $4,500 for an account established for an eligible military dependent child described in subsection (t)(1)(A); and “(B) $2,500 for an account established for an eligible military dependent child described in subsection (t)(1)(B). “(2) SUBSEQUENT YEARS.—The amount of funds deposited into each Military Education Savings Account for any school year after the year described in paragraph (1), shall be the amount determined under this subsection for the previous school year increased by a percentage equal to the percentage increase in the Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor) over the period of such previous school year. “(3) SOURCE OF FUNDS.—In accordance with section 7014(f), funds deposited into a Military Education Savings Account under this subsection shall be drawn from amounts otherwise appropriated to carry out the impact aid program under section 7003 and no new appropriation may be made for the purpose of carrying out this subsection. “(e) Use Of Funds.—Funds deposited into a Military Education Savings Account for a school year may be used by the parent of an eligible military dependent child to make payments to a qualified educational service provider for— “(1) costs of attendance at a private elementary school or secondary school recognized by the State, which may include a private school that is a religious institution; “(2) private online learning programs; “(3) private tutoring; “(4) services provided by a public elementary school or secondary school attended by the child on a less than full-time basis, including individual classes and extracurricular activities and programs; “(5) textbooks, curriculum programs, or other instructional materials, including any supplemental materials required by a curriculum program, private school, private online learning program, or a public school, or any parent directed curriculum associated with kindergarten through grade 12 education; “(6) computer hardware or other technological devices that are used to help meet a student’s educational needs, except that such hardware or devices may not be purchased by a parent more than once in an 18-month period; “(7) educational software and applications; “(8) uniforms purchased from or through a private school recognized by the State; “(9) fees for nationally standardized assessment examinations, advanced placement examinations, any exams related to admission to an institution of higher education, or tuition or fees for preparatory courses for such examinations; “(10) fees for summer education programs and specialized after-school education programs (but not including after-school childcare); “(11) educational services and therapies, including occupational, behavioral, physical, speech-language, and audiology therapies; “(12) fees for transportation paid to a fee-for-service transportation provider for the student to travel to and from the facilities of a qualified educational service provider; “(13) costs of attendance at an institution of higher education; “(14) costs associated with an apprenticeship or other vocational training program; “(15) fees for State-recognized industry certification examinations, and tuition or fees for preparatory courses for such examinations; “(16) contributions to a college savings account, which may include contributions to a qualified tuition program (as defined in section 529(b)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, without regard to subparagraph (B) thereof) or other prepaid tuition plan offered by a State; or “(17) any other educational expenses approved by the Secretary. “(f) Transfer Schedule.—The Secretary shall make quarterly transfers of the amount calculated pursuant to subsection (d) for deposit into the account of each qualified student, except that the Secretary may make transfers according to another transfer schedule if the Secretary determines that a transfer schedule other than quarterly transfers is necessary for the operation of the Military Education Savings Account. Parents shall be required to complete an expense report issued by the Secretary electronically or in paper format prior to the next quarter’s deposit. “(g) Rollover.—Amounts remaining in the Military Education Savings Account of a student at the end of a school year shall remain available for use in accordance with subsection (e) until the date on which such account terminates under subsection (h). “(h) Termination And Return Of Funds.— “(1) TERMINATION.—The Military Education Savings Account of a student shall terminate on— “(A) the date on which the student enrolls in a public elementary school or secondary school on a full-time basis; “(B) in the case of a student who is pursuing postsecondary education, the earlier of— “(i) the date on which the student completes postsecondary education; or “(ii) the date on which the student attains the age of 22 years; “(C) in the case of a student who is an individual with a disability, the date on which the student attains the age of 26 years; or “(D) in the case of an individual not described in subparagraphs (B) or (C), the earlier of— “(i) the date on which the student attains the age of 22 years; or “(ii) the expiration of any 4-year period during which funds in the account are not used in accordance with this section. “(2) RETURN OF FUNDS.—Any funds remaining in a Military Education Savings Account before such account terminates under paragraph (1) shall be— “(A) returned to the Secretary; and “(B) used for the program under this section. “(i) Compulsory Attendance Requirements.—A State that receives funds under this title shall consider a child with a Military Education Savings Account for a school year as meeting the State's compulsory school attendance requirements for such school year. “(j) Special Rule.—In the case of a child with a Military Education Savings Account who attends a public school on a less than full-time basis in a school year— “(1) the child may not attend the public school free of charge; and “(2) funds in the Account, in an amount determined pursuant to an agreement between the parent of the child and the local educational agency concerned, shall be used to pay for the child’s costs of attendance at such school. “(k) Tax Treatment Of Accounts.— “(1) IN GENERAL.—A Military Education Savings Account is exempt from taxation under subtitle A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. “(2) CONTRIBUTIONS AND DISTRIBUTIONS.—For purposes of such subtitle— “(A) any contribution to a military education savings account by the Secretary under this section shall not be includible in the gross income of the individual for whose benefit such account is maintained or the parent of such individual; and “(B) any distribution from a military education savings account which is permitted under this section shall not be includible in the gross income of the individual for whose benefit such account is maintained or the parent of such individual. “(l) Privacy.—Section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act (commonly known as the ‘Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974’) (20 U.S.C. 1232g) shall apply to a qualified educational service provider in the same manner that such section applies to an educational agency or institution (as that term is defined in such section). “(m) Fraud Prevention And Reporting.—The Secretary shall establish a website and a telephone hotline that enable individuals to anonymously report suspected fraud in the program under this section. The Secretary also shall conduct or contract for random, quarterly, or annual audits of accounts as needed to ensure compliance with this section. “(n) Contract Authority.—The Secretary of Education may enter into one or more contracts for the purpose of carrying out the responsibilities of the Secretary under this section. “(o) Surety Bond.— “(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall require each qualified educational service provider that receives not less than $100,000 in funds from Military Education Savings Accounts in a school year to post a surety bond, in an amount determined by the Secretary, for such school year. “(2) RETENTION.—The Secretary shall prescribe the circumstances under which a surety bond under paragraph (1) may be retained by the Secretary. “(p) Refunds.—The Secretary shall establish a process under which payments from a Military Education Savings Account to a qualified educational service provider may be refunded to the account in the event of fraud or nonperformance by the provider. “(q) Rules Of Construction.— “(1) NONAGENCY.—A qualified educational service provider that receives a payment from a Military Education Savings Account pursuant to this section shall not be considered an agent of the State or the Federal Government solely because the provider received such payment. “(2) FEDERAL OR STATE SUPERVISION.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to allow any agency of a State or the Federal Government to exercise control or supervision over any qualified educational service provider. “(3) NO IMPOSITION OF ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a qualified educational service provider to alter its creed, practices, admissions policy, or curriculum in order to be eligible to receive payments from a Military Education Savings Account. “(4) TREATMENT OF ASSISTANCE.—For purposes of any Federal law, assistance provided under this section shall be considered assistance to the military dependent student or to the parents of a student on whose behalf a Military Education Savings Account is established and shall not be considered assistance to the qualified educational service provider that uses or receives funds from a Military Education Savings Account. “(r) Legal Proceedings.— “(1) BURDEN.—In any legal proceeding in which a qualified educational service provider challenges a requirement imposed by the Department on the provider, the Department shall have the burden of establishing that the requirement is necessary and does not impose any undue burden on the provider. “(2) LIMITATION ON LIABILITY.— “(A) IN GENERAL.—No liability shall arise on the part of an entity described in subparagraph (B) solely because such entity awards, uses, or receives funds from a Military Education Savings Account. “(B) ENTITY DESCRIBED.—The entities described in this subparagraph are the following: “(i) The Department. “(ii) An entity that enters into a contract with the Secretary pursuant to subsection (n). “(3) INTERVENTION.— “(A) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subparagraph (B), a parent of an eligible military dependant student or a parent of a student on whose behalf a Military Education Savings Account is established may intervene in any legal proceeding in which the constitutionality of the program under this section is challenged under a State constitution or the Constitution of the United States. “(B) EXCEPTION.—For purposes of judicial administration, a court may— “(i) limit the number of parents allowed to intervene in a proceeding under subparagraph (A); or “(ii) require all parents who have intervened in a proceeding under subparagraph (A) to file a joint brief, except that no parent shall be required to join any brief filed on behalf of a State that is a defendant in the proceeding. “(s) Administrative Expenses.—The Secretary may use not more than 5 percent of the funds made available to carry out this section for the direct costs of administering Military Education Savings Accounts. “(t) Definitions.—In this section: “(1) The term ‘eligible military dependent child’ means a child who— “(A) (i) has a parent on active duty in the uniformed services (as that term defined in section 101 of title 37, United States Code, except that such term does not include an officer in the National Guard who has been activated); and “(ii) resides within the boundaries of a heavily impacted local educational agency; or “(B) (i) has a parent on active duty in the uniformed services (as that term defined in section 101 of title 37, United States Code, except that such term does not include an officer in the National Guard who has been activated); and “(ii) resides within the boundaries of a local educational agency eligible to receive a basic support payment under section 7003(b)(1) that is not a heavily impacted local educational agency. “(2) The term ‘heavily impacted local educational agency’ means a local educational agency eligible to receive a payment under section 7003(b)(2). “(3) The term ‘institution of higher education’ has the meaning given the term in section 102 of the Higher Education Act of 1965. “(4) The term ‘qualified educational service provider’ means an entity or person that provides educational services for which funds may be expended under subsection (e), including— “(A) a private school; “(B) a private online learning program or course; “(C) an institution of higher education, including a State institution of higher education, a junior or community college, or a postsecondary vocational institution; “(D) a public school; “(E) a private tutor or entity that operates a tutoring facility; “(F) a provider of educational materials or curricula; “(G) a provider of education-related therapies or services; and “(H) any other provider of educational services approved by the Secretary.”. SECTION 202. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS. Section 7014 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7714) is amended by adding at the end the following: “(f) Military Education Savings Accounts.— “(1) SOURCE OF FUNDS AND PROHIBITION ON NEW APPROPRIATION.—Subject to paragraph (2), section 7012A shall be carried out using funds otherwise appropriated to carry out section 7003 and no new appropriation may be made to carry out such section 7012A. “(2) PROHIBITION ON USE OF CERTAIN FUNDS.—In making funds available to carry out section 7012A under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall ensure that such funds are drawn only from amounts otherwise made available for the education of military dependent children under section 7003 and not from other sources.”. TITLE III 529 ACCOUNT EXPANSION SECTION 301. 529 ACCOUNT FUNDING FOR HOMESCHOOL AND ADDITIONAL ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EXPENSES. (a) In General.—Section 529(c)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended to read as follows: “(7) TREATMENT OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY TUITION.—Any reference in this section to the term ‘qualified higher education expense’ shall include a reference to the following expenses in connection with enrollment or attendance at, or for students enrolled at or attending, an elementary or secondary public, private, or religious school: “(A) Tuition. “(B) Curriculum and curricular materials. “(C) Books or other instructional materials. “(D) Online educational materials. “(E) Tuition for tutoring or educational classes outside of the home, including at a tutoring facility, but only if the tutor or instructor is not related to the student and— “(i) is licensed as a teacher in any State, “(ii) has taught at an eligible educational institution, or “(iii) is a subject matter expert in the relevant subject. “(F) Fees for a nationally standardized norm-referenced achievement test, an advanced placement examination, or any examinations related to college or university admission. “(G) Fees for dual enrollment in an institution of higher education. “(H) Educational therapies for students with disabilities provided by a licensed or accredited practitioner or provider, including occupational, behavioral, physical, and speech-language therapies. Such term shall include expenses for the purposes described in subparagraphs (A) through (H) in connection with a homeschool (whether treated as a homeschool or a private school for purposes of applicable State law).”. (b) Effective Date.—The amendment made by this section shall apply to distributions made after the date of the enactment of this Act. PES Sec. 1. Establishes short title as STUDENT Act. Sec. 2. Establishes enactment and severability. Sec. 3. Establishes table of contents. Sec. 101. Amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to allow a state educational agency to allocate grant funds among local educational agencies based on the number of eligible children (children age 5 to 17 from a family with an income below the poverty level) enrolled in the public schools and the state-accredited private schools within each local agency's geographic jurisdiction. Sec. 102. Conforming amendment. Sec. 201. Amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to direct the Department of Education to establish a program to provide children with parents on active duty in the uniformed services with funds for specified educational purposes. Children of active duty service members who reside in a local education agency that receives payments under the Impact Aid Program are eligible to receive funds. Sec. 202. Establishes funding for military ESAs from Impact Aid. Sec. 301. Expands the TCJA's 529 plan expansion to include more types of educational expenses than just tuition, including for home-schooled students.
  10. Recks

    @RecksAZ

    @RecksAZ: The #BradyCampaign should recognize that the pro- #2A concealed carry reciprocity bill is not just a Republican bill - it truly is #Bipartisan, with the lead sponsor being Democrat @SEN_CHILLINGS_NC
  11. Recks

    @RecksAZ

    @RecksAZ: RT @CPAC Trillions of dollars are on the line with the USMCA. It's a no brainer to sign into law as soon as possible. #ChamberofCommerce
  12. Recks

    @RecksAZ

    @RecksAZ: RT @CPAC USMCA is essential for our economic future. Free trade is the only way forward. #ChamberofCommerce
  13. Recks

    @RecksAZ

    @RecksAZ: Thank you to all of the great Senators who worked together - esp. Minority Whip @SenBautistaNY - to support a #Bipartisan deal to get moving on ratifying #USMCA and reduce medicine costs.
  14. Recks

    @RecksAZ

    @RecksAZ: The latest selection of bills I've had the privilege of docketing include #2A rights (concealed carry reciprocity), the #SpaceForce, and a bill to promote cybersecurity training and prevention.
  15. Mr. President pro tempore, With the cloture motion passing on one docketed bills, I ask that the following bill be put up for debate: Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2019, which passed the ASFAJ Committee by a vote of 4-1. Signed, /s/  Luke Recks Senate Majority Leader
  16. Recks

    @RecksAZ

    @RecksAZ: We need infrastructure to become a larger priority. Before we spend billions on projects, however, we should have a thorough committee process to consider our nation's top priorities. That is what makes the Senate the #WorldsGreatestDeliberativeBody
  17. Recks

    @RecksAZ

    @RecksAZ: RT @CommonCause Republicans and Democrats alike care about freedom of speech, especially for those they disagree with. It speaks to the very core of being American. #UtahState
  18. Recks

    @RecksAZ

    @RecksAZ: The US has no place sending brave troops into harm's way in Syria - or elsewhere in the Middle East. It is time to #BringThemBackHome. #AmericaFirst
  19. Recks

    @RecksAZ

    @RecksAZ: Republicans are the only party who are serious about saving Social Security without massive tax hikes or benefit cuts. I applaud the dialogue between @FlorianWood and @McKnight2020 on how to best save the safety net without punishing retirees.
  20. 89% Libertarian, 77% Constitution, 72% Republican, 43% Democratic.
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