SENATE 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 of April 9, 2019
Title: An act relating to room and board for college bound scholarship students.
Brief Description: Concerning room and board for college bound scholarship students.
Sponsors: Representatives Hudgins, Valdez, Sells, Bergquist, Appleton, Slatter, Wylie, Santos and Doglio.
Brief History: Passed House: 3/06/19, 59-37.
Committee Activity: Higher Education & Workforce Development: 3/19/19, 4/02/19 [DP-WM, w/oRec].
Ways & Means: 4/09/19.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Majority Report: Do pass and be referred to Committee on Ways & Means.
Signed by Senators Palumbo, Chair; Randall, Vice Chair; Liias and Wellman.
Minority Report: That it be referred without recommendation.
Signed by Senators Holy, Ranking Member; Brown.
Staff: Alicia Kinne-Clawson (786-7407)
SENATE COMMITTEE ON WAYS & MEANS
Staff: Daniel Masterson (786-7454)
Background: College Bound Scholarship Program. The College Bound Scholarship (CBS) program was established in 2007 to provide guaranteed four-year tuition to students from low-income families. The first CBS awards were granted to the graduating high school class of 2012. Eligible students for the CBS include those who:
qualify for free or reduced-price lunches in the seventh-grade; or
are dependent from parents or guardians, or are receiving extended foster care services.
In the seventh-grade, students become eligible for the CBS and are notified of their eligibility and the requirements for award of the scholarship. To be eligible to receive the CBS, a student must sign a pledge during the seventh- or eighth-grade that includes a commitment to graduate from high school with at least a C average and no felony convictions.
To receive the CBS, the student must graduate high school having fulfilled the CBS pledge requirements. Upon graduation, the student's family income will be assessed, and if it does not exceed 65 percent of the state median family income, the student will receive a scholarship.
CBS recipients attending public two-year or four-year higher education institutions receive an award to cover the cost of tuition and fees, minus any state-funded grant, scholarship, or waiver assistance, plus $500 for books and materials. CBS recipients attending private institutions receive an award based on the average award students at the corresponding public institution would receive. The student must maintain satisfactory academic progress and may not receive the scholarship for more than four full-time years.
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act. The federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act) requires local school districts to identify homeless students and provide them with support. Under the McKinney-Vento Act homeless children are defined as "individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence." The McKinney-Vento Act provides examples of children who would fall under this definition, including children and youth who are:
sharing housing due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason;
living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or campgrounds due to lack of alternative accommodations;
living in emergency or transitional shelters;
abandoned in hospitals;
awaiting foster care placement;
living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, or bus or train stations; and
migratory and live in one of the above situations.
Summary of Bill: Public higher education institutions that offer on-campus housing options must provide a one-year waiver for on-campus housing to eligible students on a space available basis.
Eligible students are first-year CBS recipients who, upon graduation from high school, are considered homeless under the McKinney-Vento Act. The student must inform the institution of their eligibility for the waiver when accepting admittance for the fall term in order to receive the waiver.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony (Higher Education & Workforce Development): PRO: Western is consistently full in all residence halls, especially at the beginning of the academic year. We think this bill is a big step forward for students who are falling through the cracks and these are students we should be helping. We would love to see state funds going towards helping institutions recoup these costs. The one-year buffer in this bill will help students establish stability for future years.
OTHER: Our colleges and universities care deeply about students experiencing homelessness. When available, our colleges provide supports to students that may include campus housing, medical care, counseling services, food, or emergency grants. Our concern with this bill is that it regulates a stand alone, self-supporting enterprise of campus housing. No state funds go towards constructing or maintaining campus housing and we are concerned that any shifts in this model may jeopardize the sustainability of it.
Persons Testifying (Higher Education & Workforce Development): PRO: Henry Pollet, Associated Students of Western Washington University.
OTHER: Cody Eccles, Council of Presidents.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying (Higher Education & Workforce Development): No one.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony (Ways & Means): PRO: This would help homeless and foster youth who face difficulties get to college. They also need this extra support to succeed in college. They would only be eligible for rooms that are currently unoccupied.
OTHER: This bill creates a challenge because it regulates a self-supporting activity. No state funds pay for on-campus housing. We are concerned with anything that may compromise the self-sustaining housing model. Housing is at a premium on campuses and this might create an expectation that cannot be met. We recommend a policy like the one in SB 5800.
Persons Testifying (Ways & Means): PRO: Anne Landis, Legislative Liaison, Geoduck Student Union at the Evergreen State College. OTHER: Cody Eccles, Council of Presidents.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying (Ways & Means): No one.