Hawkins’ “Walking Start to Running Start” bill approved by Legislature

Bill allows students in the summer term before 11th grade to earn up to 10 college credits

OLYMPIA… Sen. Brad Hawkins’ Senate Bill 5670 to expand Running Start opportunities for high school students was approved by the legislature Thursday evening.

Hawkins first introduced the bill during the 2023 session, and it has been a multi-year effort.

Running Start is a free tuition “dual credit” opportunity for 11th and 12th graders, allowing students to earn college credit while in high school. Students can get a head start or “running start” to college, accumulating credits during their high school years.

Hawkins’ bill allows students in the summer term before 11th grade to earn up to 10 college credits.

Through the Running Start program, students can complete their AA degrees in high school. Hawkins says his bill could save students money, reduce their likelihood of debt, and advance them closer to a four-year degree.

Wenatchee Valley College President Faimous Harrison and local Running Start students testified in support of the bill before the House Education Committee on February 15.

Since SB 5670 was approved by the House unamended, it now advances directly to Governor Inslee for consideration.

Hawkins’ Statement

I fully support the Running Start program as a tuition-free option for students and families. It is a great option for all, especially for middle-class families who may not otherwise qualify for any state financial aid.

Running Start is a proven way to build credits and get students on a degree path. Allowing students to begin in the summer leading into their junior year could help ease them into the college experience.

I’ve been calling my bill a “Walking Start to Running Start” because sometimes you need to walk before you run in school and life. My bill provides that option.

To view the bill as approved by the Legislature, click here.

Audio No. 1 | Walking to Running Start

Audio No. 2 | Walking to Running Start

Audio No. 3 | Walking to Running Start