STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT COUNCIL
[Filed March 20, 2020, 3:07 p.m., effective March 20, 2020, 3:07 p.m.]
Effective Date of Rule: Immediately upon filing.
Purpose: The Washington student achievement council is adopting an emergency rule to carry out the primary purpose of the state work study (SWS) program, chapter 28B.12
RCW, during the period of a declared state of emergency.
Citation of Rules Affected by this Order: New WAC 250-40-080.
Other Authority: Proclamation by the Governor 20-12, March 13, 2020.
Under RCW 34.05.350
the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest.
Reasons for this Finding: On February 29, 2020, the governor issued Proclamation 20-05, proclaiming a State of Emergency for all counties throughout the state of Washington as a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States and confirmed person-to-person spread of COVID-19 in Washington.
On March 13, 2020, the governor issued Proclamation 20-12 which extends directives of the original and subsequent proclamations to help preserve and maintain life, health, property or the public peace, and prohibits many activities in all counties of Washington state related to the operation of all public and private universities, colleges, technical schools, apprenticeship and similar programs, including prohibiting in-person classroom instruction and lectures related to all educational and apprenticeship related programs. The proclamation also states, "Nothing in this Proclamation is intended to prevent institutions from taking appropriate steps to preserve accreditation, student financial aid or student visa status."
The purpose of the SWS program is to provide financial assistance to needy students, including needy students from middle-income families, attending eligible post-secondary institutions in the state of Washington by stimulating and promoting their employment (RCW 28B.12.020
). SWS is an integral part of state student financial aid with the primary purpose of assisting students with financial need to bear the full cost of their post-secondary education.
For student employees receiving financial aid through SWS who are unable to perform regularly scheduled work hours or tasks as a result of an employer's COVID-19 suspension or significant alteration of normal business operations, SWS will continue to reimburse employers for the applicable program share of eligible hours through the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year as long as the SWS employer continues to pay its share of gross student wages for those hours. To receive reimbursement under these conditions, there is no change to the operational process for employers. Hours eligible for SWS reimbursement under this option include, but are not limited to, performing typical job tasks, remote work, including project-based assignments, or not working because of COVID-19 limitations.
Alternatively, or in addition to continued work, institutions may also utilize their remaining 2019-20 SWS allocations to fulfill the financial aid commitment made to current SWS earners by reclassifying their remaining 2019-20 SWS awards as general financial aid, up to the maximum of the student's remaining SWS award. Eligible students must have documented SWS earnings in the same academic year and continue to meet all SWS eligibility requirements throughout the period of the 2019-20 award.
This emergency rule authorizes institutions to provide eligible students with general need based financial aid awards.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at the Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: March 20, 2020.
Michael P. Meotti
WAC 250-40-080Declared state of emergency.
When the governor or state legislature has declared a state of emergency and students have difficulty staying employed in their state work study position, the office may allow an eligible institution of postsecondary education to request that its work study allocations be used to provide eligible students general need based financial aid awards in furtherance of the primary purpose of the State Work Study program (RCW 28B.12.020
). Student recipients must have documented program earnings in same academic year and continue to meet all eligibility requirements throughout the period of the emergency.
Reviser's note: The typographical error in the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency and appears in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040