Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Higher ed not getting enough funding from budget
Posted by Letters editor
Don’t let the minority decide
The Times argued that refusing tort increases in the last election was a clear message against raising taxes [“The voter’s budget,” Opinion, May 27]. But would a vote to severely cut, for example, K-12 and higher ed have passed?
School-bond measures usually receive a majority, but not always 60 percent. A vote on more tax is naturally a “knee-jerk” no, government is assumed to have plenty of revenue and doesn’t need more.
The severe cuts to education mean that government actually did need more revenue, given reduced consumer spending.
The state’s public universities are expected to produce well-educated young people to maintain a strong society, but that becomes more and more difficult with successive budget cuts. So tuition will rise to offset some of the damage.
Yet continued tuition increases have restricted higher ed to the more well-off among us, and incurring massive college-loan debt is not an incentive to well-qualified, low-income students.
Maybe letting the minority (33 percent) decide if taxes should be raised is not a good idea.
— Gene Welch, Sammamish
Foundations can solve funding problems
The Legislature is unable to fulfill their obligation to adequately finance public education. Historically, the private universities have existed on donated funds. Their tuitions are aimed for the wealthy and scholarships are available for the academically talented to some extent based on a myth that the private institutions provide a higher quality of academic opportunity.
Exceptionally high-quality education is available in public institution, available to both the affluent and to students with limited financial resource. Established in 1979, the WSU Foundation was created not as an object of philanthropy itself, but as the preferred mechanism through which private support is raised and managed for the sole benefit of Washington State University.
Since its inception, it has raised more than $1.24 billion in private commitments in support of programs and initiatives across Washington State University.
Building on separate college development programs, the University of Washington Foundation was created in 1986. Its mission and that of the foundation’s supporting the other public higher-education institutions are similar to that at WSU.
The application of higher education and research are essential components to the solution of the world’s problems. We owe it to our children and to future generations. It behooves the public to provide the resource to preserve access for qualified students to quality higher education through support of their foundations.
— Robert P. Gibb, past president Board of Regents of Washington State University, Bellingham
Feb 21 - 7:00 AM Sen. Patty Murray plans to reintroduce Wild Olympics bill
Feb 21 - 7:00 AM Gun bill allows for police inspection
Feb 21 - 7:00 AM President Obama's early childhood education expansion proposal
Feb 21 - 7:00 AM Don't restrict public's right to access information
Feb 20 - 4:00 PM Lake Burien: public, but private