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What are the school requirements for children ("Learnfare")?


DTA made a number of changes and suspended a number of rules during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Guide notes in red when a rule was suspended during the pandemic.

Produced by Deborah Harris, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed March 9 2022

DTA stopped enforcing Learnfare during the pandemic. The rules below are the rules before the pandemic.

Unless you are disabled, your school age children under age 16 who are on the TAFDC grant must meet DTA’s school attendance requirements. If a child has too many unexcused absences, you will lose that child’s portion of the grant. This is called “Learnfare.” 106 C.M.R § 703.180; DTA Online Guide (Learnfare Introduction). Children who are taught at home must provide documentation of an approved home school arrangement.

You will be put on TAFDC “probation” if your child had more than eight unexcused absences during the previous school quarter. A quarter is 45 school days. If the child has more than three unexcused absences during any month in the probation period, you will lose the child’s share of the grant. Probation continues until the child has six months in a row with no more than ten unexcused absences.

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