House approves Rep. Norm Johnson’s bill to expand ‘College in the High School’ program
The House of Representatives approved a bill Monday, 96-1, that would expand the state's “College in the High School” program to include the tenth grade.
Rep. Norm Johnson introduced the bill at the request of teachers at West Valley High School in Yakima.
“Many of our schools throughout the state of Washington have agreements with our various universities and colleges which allow certain qualified students to earn college credit without leaving the high school campus. It is currently offered to students in grades 11 and 12,” said Johnson, R-Yakima. “The students pay tuition for the course, and fees are traditionally hundreds of dollars less than college tuition for comparable courses. This is a savings for parents and students. And it has become so successful that there are many students in the tenth grade who have expressed a desire of having this program expanded to their grade level.”
House Bill 1031 would expand eligibility to participate in the College in the High School program to tenth graders. It would also require participating school districts to provide general information about the program to ninth graders and their parents.
Johnson said during the 2012-13 school year, more than 17,000 Washington high school students participated in the program. Within three years, participation grew by more than 25 percent. The fees from the program help to keep it self-sustainable.
“The faculty and students at West Valley High School have found this to be a very rewarding program. It helps students become college and career ready, allows them to build their skills, rewards those who build a good work ethic, and opens doors to the future,” added Johnson. “It also saves families and the state money, time and valuable resources. It really is a winning program and one worth expanding so that our tenth-grade students may also benefit.”
The measure now heads to the Senate for further consideration.
###Washington State House Republican Communications