SB 6248

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 January 28, 2018

Title: An act relating to granting of high school diplomas by community or technical colleges.

Brief Description: Granting of high school diplomas by community or technical colleges.

Sponsors: Senators Wellman, Zeiger, Kuderer, Hasegawa, Mullet, Keiser, Liias and Conway; by request of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Brief History:

Committee Activity: Early Learning & K-12 Education: 1/25/18.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Expands the category of students who may receive a diploma from a community or technical college to include: (1) individuals enrolled in a statewide dropout reengagement program and (2) individuals aged 16 to 21 not enrolled in a publicly funded K-12 program.

  • Specifies that students issued a high school diploma by a community or technical college may be counted in a school district's graduation rate if the student is funded and enrolled in a public K-12 school.


Staff: Benjamin Omdal (786-7442)

Background: Issuance of High School Diplomas Issued by Community and Technical Colleges (CTCs). Individuals who meet the requirements for high school completion must be awarded a diploma from a CTC, subject to rules adopted by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the State Board of Education (SBE).

CTCs are also required to grant high school diplomas and certificates, upon written request, to:

Individuals 21 years or older, who receive a diploma from a CTC, are not eligible for basic education funding.

High School District Graduation Rates. Each school district in Washington must annually report graduation rates to OSPI. These graduation rates are used for a variety of purposes, including monitoring district academic progress and for required reporting under federal law.

Dropout Reengagement Programs. In 2010, the Legislature created a statutory framework for a statewide dropout reengagement system. This system provides educational access and opportunities to students aged 16 to 21 who have either dropped out of high school or are not accumulating sufficient credits to earn their diploma before age 21. Programs in this system must offer academic instruction, academic and career counseling, and assistance with services and resources that support at-risk youth. School districts may enter into interlocal agreements with an educational service district, CTC, or other public entity to provide this program.

Summary of Bill: High School Diplomas. Two categories of individuals shall be awarded a diploma upon written request. These are:

Graduation Rates. Students issued a diploma by a CTC may be included in district graduation rates if those students are funded and enrolled in a public K-12 school. Students who are not funded and enrolled in a public K-12 school may not be included in the district's graduation rate.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Requested on January 18, 2018.

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: The additional categories will increase opportunities for diplomas for youth. The bill would provide equity for students in these categories as they currently have additional requirements when compared to Running Start and other students. The bill will increase access to further educational aid or job opportunities. Under current law, students have to plan their academic plans around their 21st birthday, delaying their career, educational endeavors, and contributions to society.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Senator Lisa Wellman, Prime Sponsor; Dixie Grunenfelder, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction; Troy Goracke, State Board for Community and Technical Colleges; Lionel Candido, Case Manager, Green River College; TunamanaiaJulius Hunkin, citizen.

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