Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

House Bill 1051 - Giving students more options for a rewarding education

Creating new opportunities and options for Washington's young men and women to succeed is one of the most important goals our government is tasked with in our state constitution (Article IX, Section 1):
It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex.
The King County Democrats' Legislative Action Committee and NPI support the recently introduced High School Completion Bill, an exciting piece of legislation that opens pathways to higher education for many students who might otherwise become discouraged and drop out.

This bill allows students under the age of 21 who have completed all of their graduation requirements except their Certification of Individual Achievement to enroll in high school program at a community college or technical college and earn a high school diploma.

The bill also allows young adults to participate in their high school graduation ceremony and then go on to complete their diploma in a college setting. This can reduce the stigma they may feel about not finishing with their peers. (Those of us who are no longer young remember how much we cared about what our peers thought when we were in high school).

Representative Dave Upthegrove
will be sponsoring this bill this session and estimates that about 4,900 students would take advantage of this pathway - including 1,000 students whose first language is not English. This legislation could result nearly 5,000 averted dropouts. The only cost is the cost associated with continuing to educate a student.

The bill is scheduled for a public hearing in the House Education Committee this week and may make it out of committee the same day. Readers, if by chance you can make it to Tuesday's hearing, it would be wonderful if you could stop by and add your name to the sign in sheet in support of the bill.

The committee chair is hoping to limit testimony, as the agenda is full and they had heard from the public at length on this issue last session. However, a show of support for the bill is still important!

Hearing on House Bill 1051
John L O'Brien Building - Hearing Room B
The Capitol Campus (416 14th Ave SW), Olympia, 98504
Tuesday, January 16th, 2007 at 1:30 PM
House Education Committee (the bill's prime sponsor is Rep. Dave Upthegrove)
The hearing is open to the media and the public. Bloggers are encouraged to come.

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