Establishing the Washington promise program (Pollet, Frame, Springer)

Creates the Washington promise program to help make the first two years of college affordable and accessible by offering a tuition waiver for eligible students enrolled in associate degree or certificate programs offered by community and technical colleges.

Requires the office of student financial assistance to administer the program for resident students seeking an associate's degree or certificate from a community or technical college.

Requires the state board for community and technical colleges to develop a plan to provide program students who are enrolled at a community or technical college with a quarter-long student success course, during or before their first enrollment period, that teaches essential skills for college success.

Requires the state institute for public policy to conduct a study on the effectiveness of the program. Requires the caseload forecast council to estimate the anticipated caseload of the program and include the information in the official state caseload forecast.

Revises the definition of "caseload," for purposes of the caseload forecast council, to include the number of students who are eligible for the program and are expected to attend a community or technical college.

• Reduces the textbook stipend from $1,500 to $500, and clarifies that the stipend is provided annually
• Clarifies that if the Legislature does not appropriate enough funding to implement the free thirteenth year of the Washington Promise Program in full, then the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (State Board) must provide matching grants from the appropriation received to community or technical colleges districts to implement the free thirteenth year.
• Changes the entity who conducts the study on the effectiveness of the Washington Promise Program from the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to the Student Achievement Council, in collaboration with the State Board.
• Changes the study to include an analysis on the demand for student services and recommendations to improve student services, rather than any change in need or delivery of student services.
• Removes from the study the fiscal impact of the Washington Promise Program on the community and technical colleges and the state.

Hearing Date: Wednesday, February 08, 2017 -- 1:30 pm

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