In an effort to address the relationship between completing a high school degree and intergenerational poverty, the legislature intends to improve family unity, student outcomes, and the development of the future workforce by removing programmatic barriers and promoting coordination among programs that deliver services to parenting minors.
The bill allows maximum Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) grant award regardless of the applicant's income if the applicant:
Is under eighteen years of age; has a dependent child or children in the applicant's care; has available resources with values that do not exceed the exemption limits set forth in the definition of "resource" under RCW 74.04.005; is actively progressing towards meeting the education requirements established under RCW 74.08A.380; and is otherwise qualified to receive assistance
Additionally, the income of the parent(s) of a minor parent who is living with their parent(s) may not be considered for the purpose of determining the minor parent applicant’s eligibility for assistance.
The bill also allows parents who are less than 18 years old and attending high school or a general educational development (GED) certificate to be eligible for Working Connections Child Care under certain specified conditions: (1) Must treat the minor parent as his or her own household when determining household income; (2) Must, within existing resources, authorize full-day subsidized child care during the school year in cases where: (a) The consumer is participating in one hundred ten hours of approved activities per month; (b) The household income of the consumer does not exceed eighty five percent of the state median income at the time of application; and (c) The consumer meets all other program eligibility requirements
Establishes that the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) will create a competitive application process to provide grants to school districts to establish a Graduation, Reality, and Dual-Role Skills Program. Grants can be used in the following ways:
- start-up costs associated with opening a child care center on school premises;
- salaries for Graduation, Reality, and Dual-Role Skills Program staff; and
- support group facilitation; mentoring; or other expenses associated with the operation of a Graduation, Reality, and Dual-Role Skills Program.
The Washington State Institute for Public Policy will evaluate the grant programs no later than December 1, 2030.
Finally, by July 1, 2020, at the request of an eligible student, a school district may allow the student to transport his or her infant on a school bus, or other student transportation vehicle provided by the district. Infant must be in a rear-facing child restraint system as defined in the federal motor vehicle safety standards.
*Companion bill SB 5379