New State Funding to Support Access to Advanced Coursework for All Washington Students
Stand for Children applauds new resources to support dual credit programs like Academic Acceleration
Academic Acceleration - championed by Stand for Children and now adopted statewide - is a policy that reduces barriers by ensuring that all qualifying students are enrolled in dual-credit programs
WASHINGTON - Today Stand for Children Washington applauds the announcement that a new funding source from Washington State’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction will help support equitable access to dual credit coursework, including Advanced Placement, College in the High School, Running Start, International Baccalaureate, and relevant CTE programs. The new funding will especially benefit students who face opportunity gaps when it comes to earning credits toward high school graduation and college while also helping to ensure advanced coursework classrooms are inclusive of students furthest from educational justice. This new support will directly facilitate broader statewide efforts such as the recently adopted statewide Academic Acceleration law championed by Stand for Children Washington. The new grant - Building Equitable, Sustainable Dual Credit - is competitive and will be offered to selected districts for up to $75,000 for the 2020-21 school year.
Academic Acceleration, first adopted in 2011 in Federal Way, was passed into law by the 2019 State Legislature to begin statewide in all districts during the 2021-22 school year. A successful program in districts across the state, Academic Acceleration is designed to reduce historic barriers to dual credit and advanced classes, particularly for underrepresented groups of students. School districts in Washington that adopt an Academic Acceleration policy will implement a process where students who meet standard on state-level exams are automatically placed into the next most rigorous course in the matching content area(s).Districts may also add additional criteria provided that it does not worsen or create disparities.
“We are thrilled that more students in our state will be able to access advanced coursework opportunities and that schools will have additional resources to support pathways for students after graduation, something that is especially important due to the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Virginia Barry, of Stand for Children Washington. “This announcement is a continuation of our partnership with our state’s public schools as we together work to implement proven policies that remove barriers and increase opportunity for more students and we thank our state leaders for making this grant opportunity possible.”
While the specific application for supporting dual credit opportunities will be determined by qualifying schools, general examples of how this new funding resource will support programs like Academic Acceleration include:
- reviewing student data to ensure that all students who are ready, or almost ready, for dual credit work have access to advanced coursework
- improving local policies and practices to broaden student readiness for and interest in dual credit opportunities, including expanding dual credit options in Career and Technical Training (CTE) courses;
- engaging in strategic master scheduling work to increase access and completion of dual credit coursework;
- resourcing the expansion of advanced coursework programs to ensure capacity to serve all students
- covering the costs of dual credit for students and families;
“The gaps in equitable access to dual credit courses are persistent in Washington state, and our schools are working to close them,” said Katherine Mahoney, the Assistant Director for Policy at the OSPI Office of System and School Improvement. “OSPI is intent on supporting districts to eliminate these gaps, especially for our students of color, students from low-income families, students with disabilities, students in foster care, English learners, students who are experiencing homelessness, and students who identify as LGBTQ+. The Academic Acceleration policy that Stand for Children worked to pass in 2019 is a critical tool to eliminate barriers for students, and this grant program will help districts implement that new policy well.”
Stand for Children Washington is a non-profit education advocacy organization focused on ensuring all students receive a high quality, relevant education, especially those whose boundless potential is overlooked and under-tapped because of their skin color, zip code, first language, or disability.
CONTACT: Katie Gustainis, Stand for Children Washington, [email protected]