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Issue Position: Higher Education

Issue Position

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Recent steps toward increasing educational attainment and developing a skilled workforce for future demands:

Washington's colleges and universities will play a critical role in our state's emergence from this recession. Washington's top employers need a talented pool of workers for high-demand, well-paying jobs instead of having to recruit workers from out of state. Our legislation this year addresses that need while also zeroing in on the fundamental goal of increasing student achievement throughout Washington.

Educational attainment -- Creates the ten-member Student Achievement Council to focus on improving student achievement in Washington's higher education system. HB 2483

Higher education efficiencies -- Relieves a series of administrative regulations that have proven costly and unnecessary to universities and colleges. For the University of Washington alone, savings from the bill could exceed $1 million. HB 2585

Community college board members -- Allows every community, trade and technical college to add a sixth student position to their board of trustees to increases student input within higher education governing. SB 5217

Financial aid counseling -- Requires Office of Student Financial Aid to create a model financial aid counseling curriculum so students can better understand their options when it comes to financing their education. SB 6121

Workforce training/aerospace -- Provides increased coordination and partnership to improve training quality and program accountability within aerospace-related educational program. HB 2156

Foster care outcomes -- Makes the Passport to College Promise program permanent and requires that foster children be automatically enrolled in the College Bound Scholarship program. HB 2254


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