Students would be charged little or nothing to take college courses like Running Start or College in the High School while still in high school, under legislation recently passed out of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee.

“No students should have to pay college course fees while they’re still in high school,” said Sen. Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah). “We should be making it easier for kids to get a head start on credits for Running Start programs to use at schools like Green River Community College, Bellevue College, and the Sammamish campus of Central Washington University, to name just three within driving distance.”

Mullet’s Senate Bill 5719 would establish a grant program to pay half of the costs for College in the High School programs and exempt Running Start students from having to pay mandatory fees.

“These programs accelerate and enhance student success, a benefit that extends well beyond the individual to businesses and households throughout the community,” Mullet said. “It makes for a healthier, more robust community overall. Every college credit a student can get in high school saves them money on their college costs four years later.”

The savings would be particularly felt in Mullet’s 5th Legislative District. The percentage of students in these programs in Issaquah, Snoqualmie, Riverview and Tahoma is among the highest in the state. Tahoma has one of the largest College in the High School programs in the region.

“No matter where you live,” Mullet said, “this is a great way to support families.”