2SHB 1973

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 March 22, 2019

Title: An act relating to establishing the Washington dual enrollment scholarship pilot program.

Brief Description: Establishing the Washington dual enrollment scholarship pilot program.

Sponsors: House Committee on Appropriations (originally sponsored by Representatives Paul, Pollet, Bergquist, Sells and Riccelli).

Brief History: Passed House: 3/05/19, 96-2.

Committee Activity: Higher Education & Workforce Development: 3/19/19.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Creates the Washington Dual Enrollment Scholarship Pilot program.

  • Specifies eligibility for the program is limited to students who are eligible for the free or reduced-price lunch program.

  • Includes a sunset review by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee.


Staff: Alicia Kinne-Clawson (786-7407)

Background: College in the High School. College in the High School (CIHS) programs are dual-credit programs in which school districts contract with higher education institutions to offer college-level courses at high school campuses to qualified high school students. The programs are available to eleventh- or twelfth-grade students or students who have not yet received a high school diploma or its equivalent and are eligible to be in the eleventh- or twelfth-grade. The high school and the participating higher education institution together must define the criteria for student eligibility and the higher education institution may charge tuition fees to participating students. School districts participating in CIHS must provide general information about the program to all students in grades ten through twelve and the parents or guardians of those students. In the 2017-18 school year, over 23,000 students participated in CIHS programs.

Running Start. Running Start (RS) students enroll in courses or programs offered by participating higher education institutions. Students take RS courses on the campus of the higher education institution and online. Some institutions and school districts also offer RS courses in the high school. High school students do not pay tuition for RS classes, but may be charged fees. The higher education institution must provide fee waivers for low-income students, including those who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.

Summary of Bill: The Washington Dual Enrollment Scholarship Pilot program is established to be administered by the Office of Student Financial Assistance in consultation with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. To be eligible, a student must:

Subject to amounts appropriated, the award for RS students is equal to mandatory fees, prorated based on credit load, less any fee waivers already received or subsidies under the dual enrollment program. In addition, a RS student receives a textbook voucher, equal to $10 for every RS credit the student is enrolled for, up to a maximum of 15 credits per quarter or the equivalent per year. An eligible student enrolled in a CIHS program may receive a scholarship for tuition and fees.

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 will to expire July 1, 2025.

Appropriation: None.

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: PRO: Dual enrollment programs help students and families reduce student debt, finish college faster, and earn a living wage job. We have two terrific programs that already help students in RS and CIHS. The cost to participate in these programs is prohibitive for many of our modest and low-income families. You can have a situation where a student is in class earning credit and the student in the neighboring seat is not earning the exact same college credit because they could not afford the class, even though they are completing the same curriculum. We have a student in our district that I have been helping who is currently taking two of these CIHS courses but is not earning college credit because she was unable to pay the fee. She has been accepted to college but she is going to have to retake these classes next fall because she could not pay the tuition while in high school. We know these programs are key to helping students access postsecondary education and believe it is an equity issue that many low income students can not reap their benefits because they can not afford them. This bill helps address the cost barrier to provide more equitable access.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Representative Dave Paul, Prime Sponsor; J. Lee Schultz, Washington Student Achievement Council; Dr. Peter Dallas Finch, Assistant Superintendent, West Valley School District #208; Ruben Flores, State Board for Community and Technical Colleges; Steve DuPont, Central Washington University; David Buri, Eastern Washington University.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.