The commissioner shall administer a pilot program to provide grants to school districts to fund student club activities for students at risk of dropping out of school. From funds appropriated for purposes of this subchapter, the commissioner shall spend an amount not to exceed $4 million in any state fiscal biennium on the program.
The commissioner may award a grant in an amount not to exceed $5,000 in a school year to a school district on behalf of a student club at a district high school campus that is eligible under the criteria established under Section 39.408 (Eligibility Criteria for Certain Grant Programs). To be eligible for a grant, the student club and the club’s sponsor must be sanctioned by the campus and district. A grant awarded under this program must be matched by other federal, state, or local funds, including donations, in an amount equal to the amount of the grant. A district shall seek donations or sponsorships from local businesses or community organizations to raise the matching funds. The commissioner may award a grant on behalf of more than one student club at a campus in the same school year.
The commissioner shall establish application criteria for receipt of a grant under this section. The criteria must require confirmation that the appropriate campus-level planning and decision-making committee established under Subchapter F (Planning and Decision-making Process), Chapter 11 (School Districts), and the school district board of trustees have approved a plan that includes:
a description of the student club;
a statement of the student club’s goals, intent, and activities;
a statement of the source of funds to be used to match the grant;
a budget for the student club; and
a statement showing that the student club’s finances are sustainable.
The commissioner shall establish the minimum requirements for a local grant agreement, including requiring:
the agreement to be signed by the sponsor of a student club receiving a grant and another authorized school district officer; and
the district and the student club to participate in an evaluation of the club’s program and the program’s effect on student achievement and dropout rates.
A student club may use funds awarded under this section to support academic or co-curricular club activities, other than athletics, in which at least 50 percent of the participating students have been identified as students at risk of dropping out of school. A student club may use funds for materials, sponsor stipends, and other needs that directly support the club’s activities. A student club must use the entire amount of the grant to directly fund the club’s activities described in the plan approved as provided by Subsection (d). A student club may not use more than 50 percent of a grant to pay sponsor stipends.
The school district board of trustees shall ensure that funds awarded under this section are expended in compliance with Subsection (f). At the end of the school year, a student club that receives a grant must submit a report to the board of trustees summarizing the club’s activities and the extent to which the club met the club’s goals and achieved the club’s intent. The decision of the board of trustees under this subsection relating to compliance with Subsection (f) is final and may not be appealed.Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1058 (H.B. 2237), Sec. 11, eff. June 15, 2007.Amended by:Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 895 (H.B. 3), Sec. 35, eff. June 19, 2009.Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 895 (H.B. 3), Sec. 36, eff. June 19, 2009.Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 439 (S.B. 1376), Sec. 1.03, eff. June 4, 2019.Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 439 (S.B. 1376), Sec. 4.01(a)(4), eff. June 4, 2019.