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Washington Colleges, Universities Brace for More Cuts

Public News Service-WA
Chris Thomas, Producer
October 26, 2011

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Gov. Chris Gregoire releases her new supplemental budget this week, and those in higher education already are bracing for bad news and anticipating more tuition hikes to make up for state funding cuts.

At a time when student debt is expected to top $1 trillion nationwide by year's end, educators are wondering how much more students can pile on and still get the degrees that could mean higher-paying jobs in the future. [full story/audio]

Defending the commons at the People's College

Read about a faculty-led campaign to support higher education in our state that the faculty union, AFT Seattle Community Colleges #1789, has begun. "Saving Higher Education in Seattle" features student Michael Gable, faculty members Sandy Cioffi and Karen Strickland, and John Burbank from the Economic Opportunity Institute. This story was developed during the International Labor Communicators Convention in Seattle September 22-24, 2011.

Read full article.

Cutting Class: Community Colleges See Effects of State Budget Cuts

By Collin Tong | | August 18, 2011

In her ten years of teaching students in Seattle Central Community College's award-winning film and video communications program, Sandra Cioffi has reason to be proud of her proteges. [read full article]

Everett Herald | Lip-service investments in higher education

June 22, 2011
Opinion by John Burbank

Two weeks ago, Gov. Chris Gregoire convened a press conference with corporate leaders from Microsoft and Boeing. They were celebrating a breakthrough in higher education.

It was a breakthrough, all right -- like 60,000 high school graduates walking out onto thin ice and breaking through. The troika offered a life ring for 1,000, through "Opportunity Scholarships." The other 59,000? Let them swim ... or sink. [read full article]

Lecturers granted permission to unionize, first instructor union at the UW

April 11, 2011 | by Daron Anderson | The Daily UW

Rozanna Carosella, an extension lecturer in the ELP, was a driving force behind the development of the first lecturers union. Photo by Tarik Walmsley.

The extension lecturers at the UW Educational Outreach’s English Language Program (ELP) have created the first instructors union at the university.

Because the group consists of extension lecturers, which are instructors from the UW Educational Outreach program, they were not previously represented as UW employees.

Read full article.

UW Gives Us What We Ask For


Danny Westneat | The Seattle Times Opinion | April 5, 2011

For decades now we've heard the demand that government needs to be more like business. Can't it be more self-sufficient, more attuned to the bottom line? Well, yes it can. This is what it looks like.

You know how the UW is turning away local valedictorians in favor of high-priced, out-of-state students, and everybody's gone Husky purple with rage?

"This is an outrageous and egregious abuse of power," read one of the 700-plus Web comments on an article about the UW's policy last weekend. [read full article]

Pay Teachers More? UW Prof's Plan to Improve Education

November 12, 2010

by Chris Thomas, Public News Service-WA

SEATTLE - It's an idea that, in this economy, is bound to raise some eyebrows. A new book by a University of Washington economist suggests that the way to get education out of its slump is to pay teachers more - a lot more.

Dick Startz, Castor Professor of Economics and author of "Profit of Education," says his national research found if teachers were paid like other types of highly educated professionals, they would be making about 40 percent more than they do now. Because Americans think of teaching as a calling, like the ministry or charitable work, schools often pay accordingly, he explains, so it's hard to keep the best and brightest in the classroom.

Click here to read the full article. 

Bates Unwilling to Consider Humane Ways of Making Cuts | The News Tribune | May 27, 2010

When the Legislature cut funding to higher education last year, the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (the governing body for our 34 community and technical colleges) dup up an obscure state law from the 1980s. (read more)

WA budget-balancing plan spreads deficit pain
Higher education would see a net reduction of about $68 million, while early learning and child care programs would be reduced by about $11.5 million from expected spending levels. | Seattle Times, April 13, 2010
WA lawmakers pass budget, adjourn special session
…The new operating budget approved Monday night makes changes to the two-year spending plan lawmakers approved in 2009. Spending was driven by higher costs for current programs and added policies, including payments to property-poor school districts and additional worker retraining at community and technical colleges.

Listen to Pierce College student and instructors about the cuts to higher education