Helping foster and homeless youth complete apprenticeships (Ranker, Palumbo, Keiser)

Section 5(1) of this bill would add/change some information on institutions' application/registration materials.

It would require all institutions of higher education that receive funding for student support services under RCW 28B.117.030 to include on their applications or registration materials a question asking whether the applicant has been in foster care in Washington state for at least one day (rather than one year) since his or her 13th (rather than 16th), and whether the applicant has experienced homelessness, unaccompanied, since his or her 13th birthday. Institutions would also need to include an explanation that financial and support services may be available.

--Clarifies the age eligibility for the program, the entities who will be identifying the eligible students, and the entities that will be awarding the funds for the Passport to Apprenticeship Opportunities program.
--Establishes that the total amount awarded for any combination of participation in Passport to Careers’ two programs must not be more than the amount to attend the public university with the highest annual tuition and state-mandated fees in this state for five years. The student may utilize the Passport to College Promise program or the Passport to Apprenticeship Opportunities at different times, but not concurrently.
--Includes the OSPI with the other agencies identifying eligible students and applicants.
--Adds the term unaccompanied for homeless youth eligibility.

(1) Phases-in over three years the eligibility expansion of the Passport to College Promise program to those who have spent time in the foster care system subsequent to sixteen years old to after thirteen years old. (2) Clarifies that an unaccompanied homeless youth must be verified by the Council on July 1st for the prior academic year. (3) Establishes an effective date of July 1, 2019, for eligible unaccompanied homeless youth to apply for, and be beneficiaries of, Passport to Careers. (4) Removes reasonable transportation costs from the definition of occupational-specific costs. (5) Provides an opportunity for former foster youth who are unable to establish residency because of placement in out-of-state care to have residency determined through a verification process developed by the Council.

(1) Adds definitions for "state foster care system," "tribal foster care system," and "federal foster care system." (2) Adds "recognized preapprenticeships" to various places in the bill for consistency. (3) Changes federal citations to reference the United States Code rather than the Public Law. (4) Updates an out-of-date reference to the Higher Education Coordinating Board. (5) Moves the explanation of the process for verifying unaccompanied homeless status out of the eligibility requirements for the Passport to Careers program. (6) Clarifies what kind of financial assistance is provided for the Passport to Apprenticeship Opportunities program. (7) Changes the phrasing for the application question that the institutions are to include in order to identify eligible students. (8) Requires the Department of Social and Health Services and the Department of Children, Youth, and Families to identify eligible students and to share that information with all the nongovernmental entities contracted for the Passport to Careers program, and not just the nongovernmental entity under the Passport to Apprenticeship Opportunities program. (9) Repeals the existing short title for chapter 28B.117 RCW. (10) Clarifies that for a student who was placed in out-of-state foster care to qualify as a resident student for the Passport to Careers program, the student needs to have been placed in out-ofstate foster care under the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children.

Hearing Date: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 -- 8:00 am

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