Article - Education
(a) (1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.
(2) “Fund” means the Next Generation Scholars of Maryland Program Fund.
(3) “Program” means the Next Generation Scholars of Maryland Program.
(b) The Department, in collaboration with the Commission, county boards of education, county superintendents, and institutions of higher education, shall administer the Next Generation Scholars of Maryland Program.
(c) The Program shall provide guidance and services to students who qualify for a Guaranteed Access Grant in accordance with § 18–303(e) of this subtitle to assist the students in successfully:
(1) Completing a college preparatory curriculum;
(2) Graduating from high school;
(3) Matriculating at an institution of higher education as defined in § 18–303 of this subtitle; and
(4) Making timely progress to complete a degree program.
(d) The Department shall:
(1) Publicize the Program through community outreach and marketing materials;
(2) Award grants to nonprofit organizations to administer the Program;
(3) Solicit applications from nonprofit organizations to administer the Program in local school systems; and
(4) Give priority to applications:
(i) From Maryland–based nonprofit organizations; and
(ii) That include business and institution of higher education partners.
(e) In accordance with subsection (c) of this section, the services to be provided to students participating in the Program shall include:
(1) A high school graduation plan;
(2) Summer work or internship opportunities;
(3) Financial aid literacy assistance;
(4) Career interest assessments;
(5) Mentorship and one–on–one counseling;
(6) Visits to college campuses and workplaces;
(7) An intensive summer bridge program for students entering an institution of higher education directly from high school; and
(8) A plan to matriculate and graduate from an institution of higher education.
(f) A nonprofit organization that receives a grant to provide the guidance and services required under subsection (e) of this section may utilize:
(1) Postsecondary students receiving work–study assistance at Maryland institutions of higher education; and
(2) Secondary students in 11th and 12th grades who are successfully completing high school graduation requirements.
(g) (1) For fiscal year 2018, funding for the Program shall be $5,000,000.
(2) For fiscal year 2019, the Governor shall include in the annual budget bill an appropriation of $4,700,000 for the Program.
(3) For fiscal years 2020 through 2023, the Governor shall include in the annual budget bill an appropriation of $5,000,000 to the Program.
(4) The Department shall distribute grants to nonprofit organizations that:
(i) Are selected in accordance with subsection (d) of this section; and
(ii) Will administer the Program in local school systems in which at least 50% of the students as a percentage of full–time equivalent students as defined in § 5–202 of this article are eligible to receive a free lunch under the National School Lunch Program in the 2015–2016 school year.
(h) (1) There is a Next Generation Scholars of Maryland Program Fund.
(2) The purpose of the Fund is to provide funds for the administration of the Program.
(3) The Department shall administer the Fund.
(4) The Fund is a special, nonlapsing fund that is not subject to § 7–302 of the State Finance and Procurement Article.
(5) The State Treasurer shall hold the Fund separately, and the Comptroller shall account for the Fund.
(6) The Fund consists of:
(i) Money appropriated in the State budget for the Program;
(ii) Interest earnings of the Fund; and
(iii) Any other money from any other source accepted for the benefit of the Fund.
(7) The Fund may be used only for administering the Program.
(8) (i) The State Treasurer shall invest the money of the Fund in the same manner as other State money may be invested.
(ii) Any interest earnings of the Fund shall be credited to the Fund.
(9) Expenditures from the Fund may be made only in accordance with the State budget.
(i) The Department may adopt regulations necessary to implement this section.
(j) On or before December 1, 2020, and December 1, 2022, the Commission and the Department shall report to the Governor and, in accordance with § 2–1257 of the State Government Article, the General Assembly, on the implementation of the Program, including:
(1) The number of students from each local school system who were prequalified for the Guaranteed Access Grant during each year of the Program;
(2) The race, disability status, and English language learner status of each participating student who prequalified for the Guaranteed Access Grant each year of the Program;
(3) The progress of each participating student through the Program, including high school graduation, institution of higher education matriculation and retention rates, and, if applicable, institution of higher education graduation rates;
(4) The amount and quality of services provided by nonprofit organizations to participating students, including the use of college work–study students and high school students as mentors and counselors;
(5) The nonprofit organizations that received grants under the Program, including any other entities that provided services such as institutions of higher education, the business community, and local schools or local school systems;
(6) The amount of financial aid, in addition to the Guaranteed Access Grant, that participating students received each year that the students were enrolled in an institution of higher education; and
(7) Findings and recommendations on the success of the Program and whether funding for the Program should be continued or expanded.