‘Our Colleges, Our Future Act’ passes House

UPDATE (April 10, 2021) — SB 5194 passed the Washington State House of Representatives on Friday by a 60-38 vote! The bill now returns to the Senate, where it already passed 30-19, for concurrence and then it moves to Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk for signature.


Communities for Our Colleges to rally Thursday for SB 5194


The following is from AFT Washington:

RENTON (April 7, 2021) — AFT Washington, a member of the Communities For Our Colleges coalition, has been working this session to pass SB 5194, the “Our Colleges, Our Future Act,” which addresses racial equity and economic justice in Washington’s community and technical colleges. This bill provides for crucial investments in diversity, equity, and inclusion for CTC students, based on what those students have identified as core needs: wraparound services, robust financial aid, and increasing full time faculty positions. Approximately 45% of CTC students are BIPOC students and 70% of faculty are adjunct. SB 5194 provides a holistic approach to addressing racial equity and economic justice in our state’s CTCs.

“SB 5194 is a crucial piece of legislation that prompts investments in racial equity, something Washington state has needed and will need to show that it cares for the livelihood of Black, Indigenous, students of color,” said Lizbeth Rivera, a member of the Communities For Our Colleges coalition. “This bill is important to students like me who are first-generation, undocumented, or low income, and for students who will be returning to a community college looking to change their career because of the way the pandemic recession has impacted them. SB 5194 is a sure way to help ensure our communities and Washington state will recover from the pandemic in an equitable manner that provides students the resources and support they need to successfully finish their studies.”

SB 5194 has passed the Senate and is waiting for a floor vote in the House.

TAKE A STAND — AFT Washington members are rallying on Thursday to highlight SB 5194 as the Legislature prepares to vote. The rally will be followed by a press conference. The event starts at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 8 via Zoom and Facebook Live. The event’s speakers include students and faculty in the CTC system, community and labor partners including the Washington BUS, the Washington State Labor Council, and AFT President Randi Weingarten.

The membership of AFT Washington calls on the state of Washington to recognize the need for the policies outlined in this bill. For too long, the state has failed to invest in CTCs at the level the system needs to serve students well, and particularly as we exit the pandemic and build a new recovery, supporting our students and ensuring they have the tools and resources they need to graduate is essential.

PREVIOUSLY at The Stand:

Support Washington’s colleges; sign in as ‘PRO’ on SB 5194 (March 30)

Senate advances bill to improve CTC faculty diversity, retention (March 9)

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