(a) Program authorization
The Secretary may award grants to eligible entities, on a competitive basis, to enable the entities to carry out scholarship programs by providing vouchers for postsecondary education to direct support workers who assist individuals with developmental disabilities residing in diverse settings. The Secretary shall award the grants to pay for the Federal share of the cost of providing the vouchers.
(b) Eligible entity
To be eligible to receive a grant under this section, an entity shall be
(1) an institution of higher education;
(2) a State agency; or
(3) a consortium of such institutions or agencies.
(c) Application requirements
To be eligible to receive a grant under this section, an eligible entity shall submit to the Secretary an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require, including a description of
(1) the basis for awarding the vouchers;
(2) the number of individuals to receive the vouchers; and
(3) the amount of funds that will be made available by the eligible entity to pay for the non-Federal share of the cost of providing the vouchers.
(d) Selection criteria
In awarding a grant under this section for a scholarship program, the Secretary shall give priority to an entity submitting an application that
specifies that individuals who receive vouchers through the program will be individuals
(A) who are direct support workers who assist individuals with developmental disabilities residing in diverse settings, while pursuing postsecondary education; and
(B) each of whom verifies, prior to receiving the voucher, that the worker has completed 250 hours as a direct support worker in the past 90 days;
(2) states that the vouchers that will be provided through the program will be in amounts of not more than $2,000 per year;
(3) provides an assurance that the eligible entity (or another specified entity that is not a voucher recipient) will contribute the non-Federal share of the cost of providing the vouchers; and
(4) meets such other conditions as the Secretary may specify.
(e) Federal share
The Federal share of the cost of providing the vouchers shall be not more than 80 percent.