Montana Quality Schools Program

Program Overview

Quality Schools Project Grants are available for any public school district located in the State of Montana which serves Montana K-12 students, including elementary school districts, high school districts, and K-12 school districts, as those entities are defined in Title 20, Chapter 6, MCA. Each public school district may apply for one Project Grant per funding cycle.

The submission of a Quality Schools grant application must be approved by the district, either through formal resolution of approval by the school board or through delegation of authority to submit the application to an authorized officer or employee of the district.The trustees of an applicant school district are solely responsible for ensuring that the district follows all applicable federal, state, and local laws or regulations in applying for a grant and engaging in any activity funded thereby.

Grant and Match Requirements

  • Grant Maximum: None
  • Grant Minimum: None
  • Match Requirement: None

Eligible Project Expenses

Eligible project expenses that can be reimbursed with Quality Schools funds are those reasonable expenses incurred after the Quality Schools award letter date that directly relate to the planning, design, construction, erection, acquisition, or improvements, alteration, modernization, reconstruction, or expansion of facility infrastructure.

Project expenses that cannot be reimbursed with Quality Schools funds include:

  • Grant administration expenses, including but not limited to personnel costs, office rent, office equipment, supplies, telephone, postage, travel, audit fees, procurement related costs, legal costs including bond counsel, etc, and financial costs such as loan origination, administrative fees, debt service reserves, and capitalized interest;
  • Direct financial assistance for religious, charitable, industrial, educational, or benevolent purposes to any private individual, private association, or private corporation not under the control of the state;
  • Operation and maintenance costs;
  • Costs related to acquiring debt or refinancing existing debt; and
  • Costs that are considered ‘cost-plus’ billing.This could include percentage-based or flat rate increases above actual project costs (mark-up fees, multipliers, etc), including costs commonly labeled as “profit and overhead”;
  • Preliminary design work performed by professional services;
  • Any unauthorized costs incurred prior to receipt of the Notice of Award letter.

Application Review and Award

The Department reviews and ranks applications received by the application due date and submits its funding recommendations to the Governor. The Governor will then review the Department's recommendations and submit the recommendations to the Legislature as part of the Governor's budget for the upcoming Biennium. The Legislature makes the final decision about which applications are funded and makes the necessary funding appropriations.

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