State Seeks Fresh Approach From New Higher-Ed Council

Ann McClure's picture

The Washington Legislature has created a new council to oversee higher education, replacing the old Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB), although keeping its staff.

The new entity is called the Student Achievement Council, and it's charged with redesigning the system of higher education in Washington state, said one of the plan's sponsors, state Rep. Larry Seaquist, D-Gig Harbor. Legislation creating the council was signed into law by Gov. Chris Gregoire last week.

Seaquist said the new council will have a specific set of roles and missions, unlike the HECB, which had a job description that was "wonderfully vague and unfocused," he said.

State Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, a sponsor of the bill in the Senate, said one of the key differences is that the new council includes a seat for a representative from the state superintendent's office.

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