Year-End Updates: Mini Town Hall and the Future of WA Education!

Dear friends and neighbors,  

Happy holidays!  

As we approach the close of the year, I’d like to extend my warmest wishes to you and your family. The spirit of the holidays brings with it a sense of community and reflection, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve you. 

In the spirit of community engagement, I am delighted to inform you of an upcoming Mini Town Hall. Join my 11th LD seatmate, Representative David Hackney, and I for a Mini Town Hall on Saturday, January 6th from 11am-2pm at Refuel Café (401 Olympia Ave NE Ste 102, Renton, WA). Please email my legislative assistant, Syd, at to sign up for a 15-minute time slot to chat with us. Sign up to swing by, say hello, and enjoy a coffee on us! 


If you’d like to get in touch but can’t participate in the Mini Town Hall, please feel free to email me at 

Additionally, I’d love to know your insights as we prepare for the 2024 legislative session. I have created a brief survey where you can share your legislative priorities for the upcoming session. Your perspective is invaluable in guiding my efforts to effectively represent our community’s interests. 

Survey Button

Empowering Educational Pathways: Renton Promise

Washington has long been committed to providing accessible education, and it brings me great joy to share one of my proudest legislative successes with you – the Renton Promise program. This collaborative initiative, driven by our collective efforts, opens a world of possibilities for the 2023 graduates from any Renton School District high school. 

The Renton Promise Program allows 2023 graduates to attend Renton Technical College for free for up to two years or until they earn their first associate degree. Already, 86 students are enrolled in this program, marking a significant step toward making higher education accessible to every graduate in our community, unburdened by financial constraints. 

Key Components of Renton Promise: 

  • Full tuition and fees covered for up to two years at Renton Technical College 
  • Available to all 2023 graduates, regardless of GPA, income, ability, or country of birth 
  • Students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form or Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) 

Statewide First-Year Community College Promise – Washington Promise:  

Building on the success of Renton Promise, I am happy to announce our commitment to work on a statewide first-year community college promise – the Washington Promise Program. Our goal is to provide similar opportunities to graduates across the state, ensuring that the path to higher education is open to everyone, fostering a future of inclusivity and success. 

The impact of Renton Promise is already evident. I had the privilege of speaking with graduating seniors eager to start at RTC in Fall 2023. Their tangible excitement and gratitude for the financial support through the program were heartening. Dr. Yoshiko Harden, President of RTC, shared in this excitement, expressing how Renton Promise increases opportunities for our students to succeed in college and career training programs. 

This program builds on my longstanding commitment to supporting education. I secured funds for RTC to increase the number of Renton students enrolling in Running Start and Dual Credit options. I am immensely proud of what we’ve achieved together for our community. Renton Promise is not just a program; it’s a beacon of opportunity for our students, a testament to our shared commitment to accessible and transformative education. 

For students with questions about applying for financial aid, please contact, and for those who need help applying or registering, contact

renton promise

Exploring Mastery-Based Learning and its Impact on Washington Education

Over the interim, I had the privilege of exploring mastery-based learning during a visit to Eastern Washington. Mastery-based learning is a personalized and innovative approach that tailors education to individual students, ensuring a deep understanding of each concept before progressing. This method is gaining recognition for its potential to transform education and enhance student success.

Washington State has long been at the forefront of educational innovation, and the recent strides in mastery-based learning align seamlessly with our commitment to providing students with a well-rounded and personalized learning experience.

We visited key educational institutions, such as Vanguard Academy in Moses Lake, known for its emphasis on real-world problem-solving and project-based learning, and Quincy Innovation Academy, a program focusing on project-based and competency-based learning. In Wenatchee, we visited Pinnacles Prep Charter School, which offers a unique place-based curriculum, and Canyon View Community Facility, a juvenile rehabilitation center providing educational opportunities for youth. The itinerary also included a visit to Wenatchee Valley Technical Skills Center, highlighting vocational programs aligned with career and technical education graduation pathways. These visits provided firsthand insights into Washington’s dedication to transformative and inclusive education.

Wishing you a joyful holiday season and looking forward to our continued collaboration in the coming year.


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Rep. Steve Bergquist