(1) Subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for this specific purpose, the office of the superintendent of public instruction, in consultation with the state board for community and technical colleges, shall establish the running start summer school pilot program as described in this section. The purpose of the pilot program is to evaluate interest in and barriers to expanding the running start program to include the summer term.
(2) The office of the superintendent of public instruction, in consultation with the state board for community and technical colleges, must select up to three community colleges that choose to participate in the pilot program during the 2021 and 2022 summer academic terms. One community college must be located east of the crest of the Cascade mountains and another must be located in a county with a population between one hundred fifteen thousand and one hundred fifty thousand.
(3) Participating community colleges must establish agreements with the school districts of eligible students about data sharing, credit transfer, funds transfer, and other administrative matters.
(4) Under the pilot program, an eligible student may enroll in a participating community college tuition-free. Students who are eligible under subsection (7)(a)(ii) of this section may enroll for a maximum of five college credits per summer academic term. Provisions in RCW 28A.600.310
(2) and (3), which describe fees paid by running start students and fee waivers for low-income running start students, apply to eligible students participating in the pilot program.
(5) The school district of an eligible student must transmit to the participating community college an amount per each full-time equivalent college student at statewide uniform rates for vocational and nonvocational students. The superintendent of public instruction shall separately calculate and allocate amounts appropriated for this specific purpose under the omnibus operating appropriations act to school districts for purposes of making such payments and for granting school districts seven percent thereof to offset pilot program related costs. The calculations and allocations must be based upon the estimated statewide annual average per full-time equivalent high school student allocations under RCW 28A.150.260
, excluding small high school enhancements, and rules adopted under RCW 28A.600.390
. The funds received by the community college from the school district are not tuition or operating fees and may be retained by the community college. A student enrolled under this section must be counted for the purpose of meeting enrollment targets in accordance with terms and conditions specified in the omnibus operating appropriations act.
(6) By November 10, 2022, and in accordance with RCW 43.01.036
, the office of the superintendent of public instruction and the state board for community and technical colleges shall jointly report to the appropriate committees of the legislature with findings from and recommendations regarding the pilot program, including recommending whether to expand the running start program to include the summer term.
(7) The definitions in this subsection apply throughout this section unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(a) "Eligible student" means:
(i) A student attending a participating high school who will be eligible to enroll in grade eleven or twelve in the subsequent school year; or
(ii) A student who graduated from a participating high school in the current school year and who has five or fewer college credits to earn before meeting associate degree requirements.
(b) "Participating community college" means a community college selected, as described in subsection (2) of this section, to participate in the pilot program.
(c) "Participating high school" means a high school in a school district that has an agreement, as described under subsection (3) of this section, with a participating community college.
(d) "Pilot program" means the running start summer pilot program established in this section.
(e) "Running start program" has the same meaning as in RCW 28A.600.300
(8)(a) Except as provided in (b) of this subsection, and unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the requirements established in RCW 28A.600.300
apply to the running start summer school pilot program.
(b) The provisions of RCW 28A.600.310
(4) relating to calculation, allocation, and distribution of funds and RCW 28A.600.385
relating to cooperative agreements with community colleges in Oregon and Idaho do not apply to this section.
(9) This section expires December 31, 2022.
Findings—Intent—2020 c 348: "(1) The legislature finds that the successes of the running start program, a program that allows students to earn high school and college credit through courses taken at participating institutions of higher education, have enabled students throughout the state to meaningfully advance their secondary and postsecondary education goals. However, because running start program schedules are constrained by the academic calendar of the applicable high school, students are precluded from participating in running start programs during the summer academic term.
(2) The legislature finds that creating a summer term running start pilot program for students who have completed grade ten or eleven would result in numerous benefits, including providing students with additional opportunities to: Complete requirements for earning a high school diploma or an associate's degree; and explore college-level courses in a lower stress environment that does not include concurrent high school obligations. The expansion of these opportunities could be especially beneficial for students who:
(a) Need or want additional academic credit for high school requirements;
(b) Are interested in maximizing opportunities to earn college credit before or immediately after graduating from high school;
(c) Have not determined which career and educational pathways to pursue after high school and wish to explore academic options; and
(d) May be the first in their family to attend an institution of higher education.
(3) The legislature, therefore, intends to establish a two-year running start summer school pilot program to evaluate interest in and barriers to expanding the running start program to include the summer term." [ 2020 c 348 § 1