We can't ignore our responsibility to educate our kids
July 30, 2009 · 10:42 AM
The 2009 Washington State Legislature dealt with our state’s fiscal crisis in a way that sought to avoid lasting harm to public higher education.
However, deep budget cuts and steep tuition increases have led some to speculate we’ve crossed an important divide.
This biennium, four of our six baccalaureate institutions will receive more than 50 percent of their operating revenue from tuition and fees.
Have we started down the path to privatized funding of our public higher education institutions?
We hope not.
Broad and affordable college access enables societies to compete in our complex and integrated world.
Many states and nations are making these investments. Washington is failing to meet the challenge.
The state’s master plan for higher education calls for a 40 percent annual increase in degree and certificate attainment by 2018.
We believe this goal is still attainable.
A new System Design Plan authorized by the Legislature will provide rational rules for growth to help expand higher education access to the communities and populations that need it most.
Now is not the time to sit on the sidelines of this discussion.
We need advocates to explain the importance of higher education to all the people of the state.