53-4-209. Montana parents as scholars program -- department duties. (1) There is a Montana parents as scholars program administered by the department.
(2) The department shall:
(a) use state maintenance of effort funds or temporary assistance for needy families funds in a program to provide assistance to eligible households for the purpose of continuation of education leading toward a high school diploma, a high school equivalency diploma, vocational training, an associate's degree, or a baccalaureate degree;
(b) allow an individual receiving temporary assistance for needy families to attend an approved educational program if the individual:
(i) meets the income and resource eligibility requirements for temporary assistance for needy families; and
(ii) qualifies as a full-time student pursuant to subsection (4); and
(c) limit approved educational programs to educational courses that are intended to promote economic self-sufficiency, not to exceed the baccalaureate level.
(3) The participants may apply for and may be eligible for child-care assistance provided by the department to be paid from the temporary assistance for needy families block grant funds that are transferred to discretionary funding for child care.
(4) A program must require a participant to be a full-time student, which means that a participant:
(a) shall maintain enrollment in at least 12 credit hours each semester or 30 credit hours a year; or
(b) must be a full-time high school student, student studying for a high school equivalency diploma, or vocational training student as defined by the institution in which the participant is enrolled;
(c) shall maintain a 2.0 grade point average on a 4.0 grade point scale or be making satisfactory progress as defined by the institution in which the participant is enrolled; and
(d) may not be allowed to remain in the program after receiving a baccalaureate degree.
(5) (a) There may be no more than 25 participants in the program at any one time.
(b) Temporary assistance for needy families participants within the 12-month period allowed by federal law do not count in the total number of participants in the parents as scholars program. However, the parents as scholars program may be used to extend a participant's education beyond the 12-month federal period.
(6) The department shall provide annual reports to the legislative finance committee and the children, families, health, and human services interim committee.
History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 184, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 287, L. 2011; amd. Sec. 27, Ch. 55, L. 2015.