Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Washington Governor Wants to Make Promise Scholarships Permanent

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Washington Governor Wants to Make Promise Scholarships Permanent

Article excerpt

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Although more than 2,000 high school seniors will be eligible this spring to receive state-funded college scholarships along with their diplomas, the future of Washington Promise Scholarships is in doubt while backers scrounge for funding.

The popular program was only funded by the Legislature for two years. Now Gov. Gary Locke, leading lawmakers and education lobbying groups are pushing a pair of bills that would establish a long-term Promise Scholarship program and expand the criteria to allow more applicants.

Lawmakers say they hope the scholarships will encourage young students to study hard and perform well on the new Washington Assessment of Student Learning test.

"We want to make sure it's an incentive to 10th graders to take the 10th-grade test and pass it the first time," Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell, said. "We want to put some teeth in the test and this is one of the tools."

The scholarships provide about two years' worth of full-time community college tuition and can be used at public and private schools in Washington. The actual amount fluctuates based on the number of eligible students. …

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