BILL REQ. #:  S-0475.1 


State of Washington58th Legislature2003 Regular Session

By Senators Kohl-Welles, Carlson, Johnson, Shin, Jacobsen, McAuliffe, Schmidt, Rasmussen and B. Sheldon

Read first time 01/16/2003.   Referred to Committee on Higher Education.

     WHEREAS, Education is the most important function of the state of Washington and is essential to the economic health, cultural diversity, civic vitality, and political well-being of the state and the nation; and
     WHEREAS, There is significant evidence that citizens benefit by having an opportunity to access the education and training that will allow them to contribute to the healthy future of not only themselves and their families but also to the community at large; and
     WHEREAS, The state will need to provide higher education opportunities for at least twenty-nine thousand more citizens by the year 2010 just to maintain current postsecondary participation rates; and
     WHEREAS, Our schools, through education reform, are expected to prepare an evergrowing number of high school graduates for entry into postsecondary education; and
     WHEREAS, A growing number of citizens affected by the fluctuations in the economic climate and shifts in employment opportunities enter and reenter the state's educational institutions to prepare them for participation in the rapidly changing workplace; and
     WHEREAS, Washington's citizens would be better served through access to high quality education without institutional or organizational barriers to ensure being able to make smooth progress through all levels of education they desire; and
     WHEREAS, Washington does not have a seamless education system nor does it have a system of coordinated education planning; and
     WHEREAS, Collaboration and coordination among all sectors of education including but not limited to prekindergarten, the K-12 system, the community and technical college system, and the four-year college and universities is essential to developing an educated citizenry;
     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, By the Senate of the State of Washington, the House of Representatives concurring, That a joint select committee be appointed, composed of sixteen members as follows: Eight members of the Senate, four from each caucus to be appointed by the President of the Senate, and eight members of the House of Representatives, four from each caucus to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and
     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That cochairs be designated from the majority party by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate, one cochair representing K-12 education and one cochair representing higher education; and
     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the joint select committee develop a "Master Plan for Education--Prekindergarten through University" to support the students' needs, focusing on the organization and management of delivery systems, to achieve the goal of eliminating barriers to a seamless education. In developing the plan, the joint select committee shall conduct forums around the state to gather comments from interested parties including educators, business and labor leaders, community leaders, parents, and students. An interim report shall be submitted to the appropriate legislative committees by December 1, 2003, and a final report by December 1, 2004; and
     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the joint select committee shall terminate December 31, 2004.

--- END ---