Letter to the legislature: Restore dual credit funding

On April 8, 2021, the members of the High School Success Coalition sent the following letter to the legislature. You can view the PDF version here.

Chair Rolfes, Chair Wellman, Chair Randall, and members of the Senate Ways & Means,
Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education, and Senate Higher Education & Workforce
Development committees,

We are writing to ask you to restore the $9 million proviso for equitable access to dual
credit coursework in the Senate budget. This funding is the most targeted support our state
provides to close gaps in dual credit access and attainment. With these critical dollars, our low
income and underrepresented students will continue to have access to:
  • 15,000 subsidized AP, IB, and Cambridge exams, which when combined with vendor discounts eliminate fees for low income students
  • 5,400 College in the High School courses with subsidized tuition for low-income students
  • More equitable opportunities for students from underrepresented backgrounds to enroll in advanced coursework, made possible by Academic Acceleration grants and the new Equity in Dual Credit grant, which is supporting 26 districts, one tribal compact school, and two Open Doors programs to eliminate gaps in dual credit
We appreciate the Senate’s intent to push our state to more boldly innovate around dual credit
equity and not be satisfied with the current progress toward closing gaps. However, removing
this funding would have immediate, negative impacts for students furthest from
opportunity by impeding their ability to pay for College in the High School and exam
based dual credit courses. To honor our commitment to bold steps for equity for
underrepresented students, our coalition members have been engaged on policies such as
Academic Acceleration, OSPI’s 2020 request bill to remove the cost of all dual credit courses,
and most recently, the WSAC Dual Credit Task Force.

Restoring the dual credit proviso will protect access to these opportunities for low-income
students right now while we work toward a long-term solution. We ask that you continue this
critical work by restoring the carry-forward amount in the final budget.

The High School Success Coalition:
Black Education Strategy Roundtable
College Success Foundation
Education Reform Now
Graduate Tacoma
Schools Out Washington
Stand for Children
Washington Roundtable