Community and technical college students struggling with food insecurity or unforeseen financial emergencies may soon have help, because of newly-passed legislation sponsored by Rep. Debra Entenman, D-Kent.
Under House Bill 1893, recently passed by both the House and Senate, a grant program is established for community and technical colleges (CTCs) to provide monetary assistance to students experiencing unforeseen emergencies, according to a Washington House Democrats news release. While many four-year institutions already have similar programs for short-term loans or grants, this law gives CTCs the same flexibility to assist students.
Also included in the law is a focus on food insecurity for CTC students. Many students struggle due to lack of access to food. HB 1893 allows students in work-study programs to qualify for the Washington basic food program, as allowed under federal law, and requires CTCs to notify students qualifying for State Need Grant or work-study about their potential eligibility for SNAP benefits.
“I am thrilled that the Legislature has made this a reality for our struggling community and technical college students,” Entenman said in the news release. “Lawmakers must ensure that students remain in school and finish their degree or program and this bill helps us do that. This is good for students, for employers, and for Washington. Thank you to the Senate and my colleagues for making this a reality.”
HB 1893 returns to the House for concurrence of the Senate Ways and Means amendment.
Entenman is chair of the Renton Technical College Board of Trustees. Gov. Jay Inslee appointed her to the board in July 2015. Her term expires this year.