SHB 1289
C 176 L 23
Synopsis as Enacted
Brief Description: Concerning program administration for the Washington state opportunity scholarship program.
Sponsors: House Committee on Postsecondary Education & Workforce (originally sponsored by Representatives Reed, Ybarra, Berry, Ortiz-Self, Riccelli, Paul, Reeves, Leavitt and Timmons).
House Committee on Postsecondary Education & Workforce
Senate Committee on Higher Education & Workforce Development

The Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) program provides scholarships to low- and middle-income resident students pursuing eligible high demand baccalaureate degrees in:  science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and health care; and to encourage scholarship recipients to work in the state upon completion of their degrees.  The program also includes the Rural County High Employer Demand Jobs Program (Rural Jobs Program), which provides awards to students enrolled in community or technical college programs that prepare them for high employer demand fields.


The WSOS Board is staffed by a program administrator under contract with the board and the Washington Student Achievement Council.  The program administrator is a private nonprofit.  The WSOS is a private-public match program in which the state matches any private donations in order to fund the scholarships.  The state match is capped at $50 million annually.


A program administrator is one or more private nonprofit corporations.  Effective immediately, the WSOS Board may establish and contract with one or more private nonprofit corporations to operate as the program administrator to fulfill the duties required by the WSOS program. 


The state match requirements for both the WSOS and the Rural Jobs Program are modified to require:

  • the state to provide an annual appropriation for the state match, not to exceed $50 million per fiscal year for the WSOS and not to exceed $1 million each fiscal biennium for the Rural Jobs Program;
  • appropriations for the state match in the biennial budget be based on estimated donations and pledges for the fiscal year, as of the date of the official state caseload forecast;
  • annually in the supplemental budget, the state match be adjusted to donations received and estimated pledges committed for the current fiscal biennium; and
  • the state match for the current fiscal year be adjusted to reflect the excess or deficit between donations and pledges actually received in the prior fiscal year and the state match provided in the prior fiscal year.


The state match for the WSOS program is no longer contingent on state tax collections exceeding fiscal year 2008 levels.

Votes on Final Passage:
House 96 0
Senate 48 0 (Senate amended)
House 96 0 (House concurred)

April 25, 2023