The Washington career and college pathways innovation challenge program is established. The purpose of the program is to meet statewide educational attainment goals established in RCW 28B.77.020 by developing local and regional partnerships that foster innovations to:
Increase postsecondary enrollment, success, and completion for students enrolling directly from high school and adults returning to education;
Eliminate educational opportunity gaps for students of color, English language learners, students with disabilities, opportunity youth, and foster and homeless youth;
Enhance the ability of Washington residents to achieve their own goals in life; and
Increase the skills and talents of Washington's workforce.
The student achievement council shall administer the program and award grants, based on a competitive grant process, to local and regional partnerships that represent cross-sector collaborations among education and higher education agencies and institutions, local education agencies, local government, community-based organizations, employers, and other local entities.
In awarding the grants, the student achievement council shall consider applications that meet at least one of the following criteria:
Plan and pilot innovative initiatives to raise educational attainment and reach new populations;
Engage community-based organizations and resources to reach the range of populations living in the region;
Develop programs that recognize the needs of specific populations to be successful in postsecondary education and training;
Expand the use of integrated work-based learning models and career connected learning;
Provide financial support to cover expenses beyond educational tuition and fees, and other services and supports for students to enroll and complete education and training;
Further the development of innovations, such as the use of mastery-based measurements of student achievement as the basis for awarding degrees and certificates, expansion of accelerated programs, and alternative scheduling to meet working adult needs; and
Include local matching funds.
In administering the program the student achievement council may hire staff to support grant oversight and provide technical assistance to grantees.
The student achievement council shall provide a report each year by September 1st to the governor and the education and higher education committees of the legislature. The report shall:
Describe grants awarded;
Report the progress of each local and regional partnership by reporting on high school graduation, postsecondary enrollment, and completion for each of the regions that partnerships serve; and
Disaggregate data by income, race, ethnicity, and other demographic characteristics.
The Washington career and college pathways innovation challenge program account is hereby established in the custody of the state treasurer. The student achievement council shall deposit in the fund all moneys received for the Washington career and college pathways innovation challenge program. Moneys in the fund may be spent only for the purposes of awarding grants under the Washington career and college pathways innovation challenge program. Disbursements from the fund shall be on the authorization of the student achievement council. The fund is subject to the allotment procedure provided under chapter 43.88 RCW, but no appropriation is required for disbursements.
The student achievement council may solicit and receive such gifts, grants, and endowments from public or private sources as may be made from time to time, in trust or otherwise, for the use and benefit of the purposes of the program and may expend the same or any income therefrom according to the terms of the gifts, grants, or endowments.