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 Passed Senate - Amended, April 15, 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, 3/26/19 [DPA-WM].

Ways & Means: 4/04/19, 4/09/19 [DPA (HEWD)].

Floor Activity:

Passed Senate - Amended: 4/15/19, 47-0.

Brief Summary of Bill

(As Amended by Senate)

  • 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.

  • Requires school districts to provide documentation of Running Start students' low-income status to institutions of higher education beginning in school year 2020-21.


Majority Report: Do pass as amended and be referred to Committee on Ways & Means.

Signed by Senators Palumbo, Chair; Randall, Vice Chair; Holy, Ranking Member; Brown, Liias and Wellman.

Staff: Alicia Kinne-Clawson (786-7407)


Majority Report: Do pass.

Signed by Senators Rolfes, Chair; Frockt, Vice Chair, Operating, Capital Lead; Mullet, Capital Budget Cabinet; Braun, Ranking Member; Brown, Assistant Ranking Member, Operating; Honeyford, Assistant Ranking Member, Capital; Bailey, Becker, Billig, Carlyle, Conway, Darneille, Hasegawa, Hunt, Keiser, Liias, Palumbo, Pedersen, Schoesler, Van De Wege, Wagoner and Warnick.

Staff: Daniel Masterson (786-7454)

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 Amended 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 (OSPI). 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, and course or lab fees, less any fee waivers already received. 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.

By the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, school districts must provide documentation of Running Start students' low-income status to the higher education institutions in which the student is enrolled. OSPI, in consultation with the Washington Student Achievement Council, must develop a process for school districts to meet this requirement, subject to state funding.

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 on Second Substitute House Bill (Higher Education & Workforce Development): The committee recommended a different version of the bill than what was heard. 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 (Higher Education & Workforce Development): 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 (Higher Education & Workforce Development): No one.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony on the Bill as Amended by Higher Education & Workforce Development (Ways & Means): PRO: This bill is about equity and access. Currently in classrooms all across the state there will be students in the same classroom doing the same coursework. One student is getting dual credit because their parents have the money. The student next to them is not getting dual credit but they are doing exactly the same work. Low-income students who would benefit from this bill have much lower participation rates in post-secondary education and the data shows that students who partake in RS and CIHS have much higher post-secondary participation and graduation rates. This bill stands to save the state and the students a lot of money. For CIHS, to get exactly the same credits through college and high school it is four times cheaper for the exact same credits than if they took the courses at the university. Since the students under this bill would also qualify for College Bound and the State Need Grant, to the extent that they can get those credits out of the way before they get to college, that is savings to taxpayers and families. Dual credit is indeed an indicator of overall school success, of post-secondary enrollment, of graduation. It is so important that we made it one of the measures that we included in our accountability framework. For every school in Washington State we measure how well our schools are making dual credit an opportunity for each and every one of their students. That is how important dual credit access is. But we know for low-income students their ability to access dual credit is significantly different than that of students who are not low income. Thirty-one percent of our low income students in 2018 accessed a dual credit enrollment course. Sixty-eight percent of non-low income students accessed a dual credit course in the same year. This bill helps solve that by covering the costs of dual credit.

Persons Testifying (Ways & Means): PRO: Steve DuPont, Central Washington University; Katherine Mahoney, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying (Ways & Means): No one.