It’s obvious who actually cares about higher ed in Olympia

Key legislators are insisting that a budget deal will be sealed before large portions of state government must shut down. Some legislative leaders and members, however, seem determined to walk right up to the edge of the cliff and take a peek at the abyss. As part of the negotiations, the Republican Senate and Democratic […]

Senate budget: more education funding, no new taxes

The debate over the proper size and scope of state government is, for all practical purposes, endless. When partisan control of the legislature is split, as it is now, that debate takes on a renewed urgency. Yet every two years legislators forge a go-home compromise, sometimes after a special session or two. Then they adjourn, […]

Don’t balance the state budget by cutting universities and colleges

If you’ve followed Smarter Government Washington, you know our position on higher education is clear: cutting higher ed budgets hurts students and their families and harms our economic future. After years of watching state government slash state support for universities and community colleges, we cannot tolerate further cuts to our state’s economic engines. In the […]

In future, we’ll need an even more educated workforce; let’s support higher ed today

A few things in life are givens, death and taxes being the most famous two. Here’s another given: The good jobs of tomorrow aren’t going to require less education. That seems pretty obvious, but it’s worth pointing out that individual investments in education are still highly likely to lead to a higher standard of living. […]

I-1351 will likely mean higher college tuition

Legislators are grappling with the need to find billions more for K-12 schools to satisfy the McCleary case. Initiative 1351 would mandate additional billions more in spending in the short-term. State leaders simply don’t know, in addition to the extra McCleary funding, how they would pay for I-1351 too. And it’s not just Republicans saying […]

Talking Smart podcast: Sen. Andy Hill

In the inaugural Talking Smart podcast, I chat with Senate budget writer Andy Hill about the McCleary decision on school funding on the proper roles of the Legislature and Supreme Court. Click here to download for offline listening.

“We’re #2” – unfortunately

I doubt many Broncos fans were affixing “We’re #2!” bumper stickers on their cars after Denver’s Super Bowl whomping, but “silver medals” can be something to be proud of. Unfortunately our state has achieved its own #2 ranking, and it’s not one to celebrate. The College Board examined tuition increases at state universities since 2008’s […]

GOP stopped college tuition increases

On the campaign trail, I spoke often about the need to reverse the sharp decline in state funding for our universities and keep college education affordable for middle class families. For all the talk in Olympia about supporting education, the reality is that when times were bad, the easiest cut for the Democrats to make […]

Dramatic cost shift in higher education

Two weeks ago my friend, Danny Westneat, of the Seattle Times wrote an important and much-discussed column about the dramatic cost shift in higher education in this state.  Westneat is right when he says that the state has suddenly slashed support for higher education, and thus shifted the paradigm so that tuition now pays 70% […]