State Budgets for Higher Education – Washington’s Shell Game

State Budgets for Higher Education – Washington’s Shell Game

In the Chronicle of Higher Education:

States Strike Budget Bargains With Higher Education

Although the Chronicle touts “In the state of Washington, public colleges will get 12 percent more in state support than they received last year”, the “State of Working Washington” interactive budget website shows higher education spending by the State of Washington increasing only 0.9% from 2012-2013 (inflation-adjusted).

In fact, the State of Working Washington website shows clearly that every Washington public institution of higher education is receiving less state support in 2013 than in 2012.  What has increased is funding for the “Student Achievement Council” (formerly the Higher Education Coordinating Board), which is primarily funded to provide and administer student aid. The SAC is up 15% over the HECB levels for 2012.   In other words, the Legislature has frozen tuition, slacked state support, and boosted student aid — which results in greater access, but is not “re-investment” in higher education.

Sorry, Chronicle, you missed the real story, at least for Washington.

— Joshua


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