The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) on Monday adopted funding recommendations in an attempt to meet its goal of getting 70% of the state’s residents in some form of post-secondary credentials.
The Board decided to recommend that $ 250 million be allocated over 10 years, or approximately $ 25 million per year, to fund a Career and College Promise community challenge fund. The fund would provide competitive matching grants to community organizations that help students.
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The state program would provide funding to community organizations to support students as they consider and pursue post-secondary education. It is designed to get to the heart of Washington state’s long-standing graduation issues, said Michael Meotti, executive director of the council:
“Why with everything we have going for us in Washington State – strong institutions, one of the most generous state financial aid programs in the country, a very strong job market that is constantly looking for a hand – more and more qualified workers – why have a university success rate after secondary school that is 10 points lower than the national average? “
Meotti said the way forward is not to let the state choose a set of solutions, but rather for the state to look at what’s going on around the state where there are signs of a model change. traditional. He gave the examples of the Seattle Promise or Chehalis Student Achievement Initiative programs, which are community partnerships.
According to WSAC, 50.6% of Washingtonians have an associate’s degree or higher. When trade schools and other post-secondary degrees are factored in, that jumps to 62% still below the state target.
Men in the state have lower education levels than women, with just under 32% of men having a high school diploma or less, compared to 24.6% of women.
Racial disparities are also at play. According to WSAC data, three-quarters of Asian adults and more than half of white adults in the state have at least an associate’s degree, compared with just one American Indian adult on five and one in four Hispanic adults.
The data also varies by county, as shown in the image below from a WSAC 2020 report.
Income level is also a factor
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