2023 Montana Legislature

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House bill NO. 346

INTRODUCED BY J. Windy Boy, S. Stewart Peregoy, A. Olsen, W. Curdy, M. Weatherwax, T. Running Wolf, D. Hawk

By Request of the ****


A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT revising the tribal computer programming boost scholarship program; consolidating administration of the program at the DEPARTMENT of labor and industry; expanding the teacher professional development COMPONENT of the program to include elementary and middle school teachers; PROVIDING AN APPROPRIATION; AMENDING SECTION 20-7-106, MCA; and PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE."




Section 1. Section 20-7-106, MCA, is amended to read:

"20-7-106. (Temporary) Tribal computer programming boost scholarship program. (1) There is a tribal computer programming boost scholarship program consisting of two components administered by the department of labor and industry. The purpose of the program is to:

(a)        support the development of computer programming courses at high schools located on Indian reservations in the state;

(b)        increase interest among Indian students in pursuing computer programming and other technology-related careers; and

(c)        enhance technology-related economic development in Indian country.

(2)        (a) The office of public instruction department shall administer the teacher professional development component of the program and develop criteria to determine scholarship awardees.

(b)        Scholarships under the program must be used to support the professional development of high elementary and secondary school teachers responsible for technology instruction and currently employed or with a contract for employment in a high school located on an Indian reservation in the state or in a high school serving members of the Little Shell Chippewa tribe.

(c)        The scholarships may be for up to $2,000 and may only be used to defray the expenses of professional development for a teacher that results in the creation or refinement of world-class computer programming courses offered at the teacher's high school. The professional development must include coursework or other activities taken at a unit of the Montana university system or a community college or tribal college located in the state.

(3)        (a) The department of labor and industry shall administer the incentivized student training component of the program and develop criteria to award grants to organizations to implement incentivized student training programs.

(b)        An organization awarded a grant shall:

(i)         deliver a self-paced computer coding training program to eligible youth in tribal communities to prepare students for in-demand technology occupations;

(ii)         incentivize successful completion of training milestones by providing cash or other equivalent stipends to eligible youth. Eligible youth may be paid stipends for time spent receiving instruction and for participating in unpaid work-based learning opportunities.

(iii)        work with industry partners to develop youth apprenticeship and registered apprenticeship opportunities, internships, and other programs to be made available to eligible youth who complete the training program; and

(iv)        provide eligible youth with information and exposure to computer science-related career and job opportunities, including the degrees or credentials required to be qualified for various opportunities, locations where the degrees or credentials may be obtained, and what secondary and postsecondary education coursework would benefit a participant who would like to pursue a computer science-related career.

(c)        The department of labor and industry shall utilize available federal workforce funds and may accept contributions and donations from individuals and industry partners for the purpose of this subsection (3).

(d)        For the purposes of this subsection (3), the term "eligible youth" has the same meaning as in section 3102 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, 29 U.S.C. 32.

(4)        The education interim committee established in 5-5-224 shall include the monitoring of this program in its duties for the 2021 and 2022 2023 and 2024 interim and may request reports from the office of public instruction and the department of labor and industry on the implementation of the program. The education interim committee shall make available any information it acquires on the program to the state-tribal relations committee established in 5-5-229 and is encouraged to collaborate with the state-tribal relations committee in its monitoring of the program and on any modifications to the program. (Terminates June 30, 2025--sec. 6, Ch. 416, L. 2021.)"


NEW SECTION. Section 2.Appropriation. There is appropriated $48,000 from the general fund to the department of labor and industry for each fiscal year of the biennium beginning July 1, 2023, for the purpose of the teacher professional development component of the tribal computer programming boost scholarship program established in 20-7-106. The department shall provide funding for at least two high school teachers and one K-8 school teacher currently employed or with a contract for employment in a school located on each of the seven Indian reservations in Montana and in a school or schools serving members of the Little Shell Chippewa tribe.


NEW SECTION. Section 3.Notification to tribal governments. The secretary of state shall send a copy of [this act] to each federally recognized tribal government in Montana.


NEW SECTION. Section 4.Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.


Latest Version of HB 346 (HB0346.001)
Processed for the Web on February 16, 2023 (3:15PM)

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