Equal access to a high-quality education is more critical now than ever before. With a rapidly evolving economy and a growing dependence on technology, education—specifically higher education—is key to achieving security and prosperity.According to the Brookings Institution, the share of occupations that required advanced levels of digital skills more than doubled between 2004 and 2014, from 10 to 22 percent. Moreover, a McKinsey report published in January 2017 estimated that 49 percent of time spent on work activities worldwide could be automated using existing technologies.Lt. Governor Habib is a fierce advocate for expanding access to higher education programs for all, and a staunch believer in everyone’s ability to achieve. The Office of Lt. Governor Habib is working to ensure all Washingtonians have the means of securing an education beyond high school to prosper in the current and future knowledge economy.
“As I often say, I went from Braille to Yale,” said Habib. “The reason [I could do this] is I had access to really well-funded public schools, and we want that for everybody—irrespective of disability or race, or economic background.
In March, the Lieutenant Governor joined the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and generous nonprofit and private sector leaders in announcing that the public-private AP Access Fund partnership reached its goal of providing Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams to low-income students, free of charge. Thanks to the generosity of Microsoft, the Schultz Family Foundation, Boeing, and nearly a dozen other donors, and with the support of Superintendent Chris Reykdal, the College Success Foundation, and Challenge Seattle, Washington is now able to dedicate nearly a million dollars of public and private money to guarantee access to college credits for each of these 15,000 hard-working students.
The Office of the Lieutenant Governor will build upon this early success to continue its work expanding access to education for all. Please see below for a list of initiatives and resources aimed at helping all Washingtonians pursue an advanced education: