Legislative Advocacy

Text in white says Legislative Advocacy, over the image of RTC blue art installation

Students succeed at RTC. Even during a pandemic.

Even when the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly changed everything, Renton Technical College and our students thrived. Students adapted to new ways of online and in-person learning. Advisers and instructors found innovative ways to teach and provide resources, and we safely continued hands-on training in a safe setting. The Legislature must continue to fund RTC and all 34 community and technical colleges in the state so we can provide access to life-changing education and training.

President's Position and Priorities: Protecting funding for two-year colleges

photo of President Kevin McCarthy

While difficult choices must be made this year, the 2021 Legislative Session could have a devastating impact on Renton Technical College and other community and technical colleges in our state. I appreciate the Governor's proposed $37 million investment in our budget priorities related to racial equity, technology, and job training. I am concerned about the much higher $137 million in cuts in the form of salary freezes, reductions, and mandatory furloughs. This would require our faculty and staff to take 24 furlough days over the biennium – causing a direct impact on our students' instructional experience and a delay in their progress toward certificates and degrees.

In 2019, the Legislature committed to supporting higher education opportunities for the people of Washington. The Workforce Education Investment Act expanded financial aid; invested in Guided Pathways to strengthen advising, counseling and career paths; and improved colleges' capacity to hire and retain faculty who teach high-demand programs.  A budget cut in 2021-23, just a few years after WEIA was enacted, breaks a promise to the students and families of Washington, as would cuts to our base operating budgets. Cuts would also deliver a damaging financial blow when colleges are already suffering the repercussions of COVID-19.

Read the State Board's Operating Budget Priorities and Capital Projects Request.

Invest in our students

Tiffiny Thrash

photo of Tiffiny in graduation cap and gown

Tiffiny Thrash persevered through two years of RTC's Registered Nurse Program, graduating in June 2020 during COVID. While in school, she worked as a medical assistant at a Multiple Sclerosis Clinic, raised a teenage daughter, lost her father, and had a baby. She already had a job waiting for her at St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way, where she completed her clinical work.

"I love RTC. It changed my life for the better."

Rose Milianta

Rose in the RTC Bakery Kitchen, preparing some cakes, with a black mask on and white chef uniform.

When restrictions limited how RTC's baking students could meet their program outcomes, Instructor Robert Holland found a way that benefited students and the community. Rose Milianta needed to complete her cake baking and decorating course, but COVID restrictions prohibited the RTC bakery and catering operations. RTC teamed up with Birthday Dreams to make custom cakes for homeless children. Rose graduated with not only her skills but also the satisfaction of knowing she was helping others. 

"Decorating is my favorite thing, and this helped me get more practice and do a wider spectrum of things."

Alan Abdullah

photo of Alan, RTC logo behind him

Alan Abdullah uses his skills to help other students. Alan, a student in the Bachelor of Applied Science in Computer Network Architecture, works for RTC's College Technology Services Department. When the college went all-online in the spring, CTS, the RTC Foundation, and the Learning Resource and Career Center collaborated to provide computers and hotspots to students who needed them. Every day,  Alan is on campus, safely handing out equipment, giving back to the college that has supported him.

"The help at Renton Technical College is amazing and beyond the imagination that I pictured in my mind. If you want any kind of help, people will help you."

Lea-Janelle Hufana

photo of Lea-Janelle

Lea-Janelle Hufana had been a surgery scheduler for years and wanted to advance her career in the medical field as a surgical technologist and support her daughter. She was grateful RTC offered the program that interested her. She excelled and started working at Valley Medical Center in Renton upon graduation from the two-quarter program in 2020.

"Renton Technical College has felt like home while advancing my academic career."

Our Students

About RTC
Total headcount 8,848
Total full-time equivalent (FTE) 3477
Students of color 69%
African American 17%
Asian 25%
Hispanic/Latino 21%
Native American 2%
Pacific Islander 1%
Other race 5%
White/Caucasian 33%*

*May not add up to 100% because students may be counted in more than one race. Percentages calculated on reported value.

Age, Family, and Finances
Median Age 30
Students receiving need-based financial aid in eligible programs 45%
Students who work 45%
Students with children 43%

Read more in the Field Guide.


Capital Budget

The College is set to receive $2 million towards the construction of a new Health Sciences building. We appreciate the Legislature's continued investment in our facilities to better serve more students.

Read more on our Capital Budget Fact Sheet.