GOP stopped college tuition increases

Tuition IncreasesOn 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 was to our universities. Unfortunately, they made the cuts when times were good also.

Now, largely thanks to the Majority Coalition in the Senate, the state is reinvesting in higher education. Sen. Barb Bailey has an excellent op-ed in the Everett Herald highlighting the 12% increase in funding the Senate secured for higher education and the two-year tuition freeze that will help keep college affordable. Sen. Bailey sums up the real-world effect:

If tuition rates had continued to follow the double-digit increases as seen during the past four years, students at one state-run university would have had to pay nearly $1,800 more this year.

I am proud to say that because the Senate’s Majority Coalition Caucus prioritized funding for higher education in a way not seen since 1986, families and students have one less thing to worry about this year.

Thank you, Sen. Bailey and the Senate Majority Coalition for reversing the trend, doing right by our families, and making an investment that will boost our future economy.

— Rob McKenna

Higher education: A year for the books

By Sen. Barbara Bailey

College campuses all across the state are preparing for the arrival of students as the 2013-14 academic year kicks off in the coming weeks. Families are preparing to say their goodbyes and watch their kids step out into a world of independence and responsibility, some for the very first time.

The start of a new school year is an exciting time — it offers a fresh start for both students and faculty alike.

Earlier this year, the Legislature made its own fresh start concerning the level of support for higher education, which in turn affects the cost of a college degree. We reversed a 27-year trend by looking out for hard-working families and students and saying “no” to yet another tuition increase.

If tuition rates had continued to follow the double-digit increases as seen during the past four years, students at one state-run university would have had to pay nearly $1,800 more this year.

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Rob McKenna
Rob served two terms as Washington’s Attorney General, from 2005 to 2013. He successfully argued three cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and negotiated three of the largest consumer financial protection settlements in national history, all involving mortgage lending and servicing. He is a recognized leader in the development of consumer protections on the internet, in data protection and privacy regulation.