HOUSE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As Reported by House Committee On:
College & Workforce Development
Title: An act relating to establishing the Washington dual enrollment scholarship pilot program.
Brief Description: Establishing the Washington dual enrollment scholarship pilot program.
Sponsors: Representatives Paul, Pollet, Bergquist, Sells and Riccelli.
College & Workforce Development: 2/19/19, 2/20/19 [DPS].
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON COLLEGE & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Majority Report: The substitute bill be substituted therefor and the substitute bill do pass. Signed by 13 members: Representatives Hansen, Chair; Leavitt, Vice Chair; Gildon, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Graham, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Bergquist, Mead, Paul, Pollet, Ramos, Rude, Sells, Slatter and Sutherland.
Minority Report: Do not pass. Signed by 2 members: Representatives Van Werven, Ranking Minority Member; Kraft.
Minority Report: Without recommendation. Signed by 1 member: Representative Young.
Staff: Megan Mulvihill (786-7304).
Eleventh and twelfth grade students may participate in Running Start (RS) by enrolling in courses offered by Washington community and technical colleges, Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, Washington State University, and Northwest Indian College. Students take RS courses on college campuses and online. High school students do not pay tuition for RS classes, but may be charged fees and are responsible for books and transportation. The higher education institutions must provide fee waivers for low-income students, including those who qualify for the free or reduced-price lunch program. In 2018 there were over 27,800 students who completed at least one RS course.
College in the High School.
College in the High School (CHS) courses allow academically prepared high school students in tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade to take college level curriculum in high school. The college courses are taught by qualified high school teachers using college curriculum, college textbooks, and with oversight from college faculty and staff. The CHS programs are defined in contract between a high school and a college or university. The CHS program contracts must specify the criteria for a student's eligibility for the program, whether the student or high school pays for tuition fees, and the negotiated cost of course materials, such as textbooks. Students who successfully complete a CHS program course receive both high school credit and college credit. A CHS course must fulfill general or major requirements at participating higher education institutions. In 2018 there were over 35,300 students who completed at least one CHS course.
Summary of Substitute Bill:
The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC), in consultation with the institutions of higher education and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, must establish the Washington Dual Enrollment Scholarship Pilot Program (Pilot Program). Students who are eligible to receive a scholarship are those who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, are enrolled in one or more dual credit programs, and have at least a 2.0 GPA. The WSAC must provide scholarships to students as follows:
For students in RS, the award must cover mandatory fees, prorated based on credit load, and a textbook voucher to be used at the institution's bookstore. The textbook voucher must be worth $10 for each credit per quarter the student is enrolled, up to a maximum of 15 credits per quarter or the equivalent, per year.
For students in CHS courses, the award must cover tuition fees.
The Pilot Program is an entitlement, and the Legislature is required to appropriate funding based on the estimated number of students in dual-enrollment programs.
The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee must conduct a sunset review of the Pilot Program, and if the Pilot Program is not renewed by the Legislature following the sunset review, the Pilot Program is set to expire July 1, 2025.
Substitute Bill Compared to Original Bill:
The substitute bill changed the administrating agency from the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges to the WSAC. It also removed the requirement that the CHS award be prorated based on credit as the tuition fees are charged on a per credit basis.
Fiscal Note: Requested on February 22, 2019.
Effective Date of Substitute Bill: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony:
(In support) House Bill 1973 increases opportunities for postsecondary education for Washington families. Dual-enrollment programs allow students to earn college credit while still in high school. However, the opportunity to participate in dual enrollment is very much based on the family's income. State law allows students on free and reduced-price lunch to have their fees waived, but these students are still responsible for books. For the CHS program, there is a fee to participate in the and there can be inequity. The CHS programs are taught in high school by teachers to non-CHS students and CHS students, so because one student paid the fee they will get college credit while the other will not.
Research shows students who take dual-credit programs are more likely to attend postsecondary education. A lot of the time there will be students who graduate from high school and receive their two year degree in the same weekend. This saves taxpayers money because it shortens the student's time to obtain a degree. It costs four-times as much to take a class at a college than through the CHS program. As a result, there is less reliance on programs like the State Need Grant and College Bound Scholarship.
The RS and CHS programs are not just for university students. These programs are also beneficial for students pursuing apprenticeships and workforce programs. This bill will help the state get closer to the goal of making dual credit free for all students.
The WSAC would be the better agency to administer the scholarship as they administer the state's other financial aid programs and work with all of the higher education institutions.
Persons Testifying: Representative Paul, prime sponsor; Steve DuPont, Central Washington University; David Buri, Eastern Washington University; Joe Holliday, State Board for Community and Technical Colleges; and Katherine Mahoney, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.