- Educational appropriations & net tuition excluding net tuition used for capital debt service.
(Source: State Higher Education Executive Officers Association)
- Hey, at least we're not as bad as Florida!
I couldn't really say it any better than Bill Lyne of the United Faculty of Washington State, so I'll just steal his words:
Everybody knows we’re killing our colleges, nobody seems to be willing or able to do anything about it. The business community moans and groans about STEM graduates but resists closing even the most obsolete tax loophole to pay for them. The Seattle Times puts half-page ads for its wonderful Greater Good Campaign directly opposite editorials that relentlessly describe state employees (i.e. the people who work in our colleges) as the root of all evil. And legislators’ responses range from sincere concern to puffy demagoguery, but nobody seems to be able to create the political will to generate the real resources necessary to stop the slipping.
The special session stumbles along with three budget proposals on the table, none of which stops the erosion that the governor is worried about. Technically, none of the three budgets makes new cuts to higher education. But they all enshrine the new normal of the old cuts, leaving college and university base funding well below where it was in 2009, and doing nothing to address the growing problems of restricted access, larger classes, and increased time to graduation.
The rallying cry against raising new revenue is largely based on the assertion that higher taxes would hurt our state's economic competitiveness. But it's hard to see how Washington remains competitive far into the future while being home to one of the worst funded public university systems in the nation.
In the end, we get the government we pay for.