The Seattle Times has put together a great budget graphic in the article, The Budget Breakdown Here are some great additional links in the Times article:
A look at the shortfall
Gregoire’s proposed budget
Where to cut?
State budgets over time
More information about the budget and its impact not only on education, but the job prospects for young people and workers in this region can be found at Katherine Long’s article, Trimming Higher Ed May Erode Job Opportunities
Larger college classes? Fewer teaching assistants? Freezes in faculty salaries?
At a time when the governor wants to cut basic health care, adding 100 students to a freshman lecture class at the University of Washington doesn’t sound like much of a state crisis.
For a different viewpoint, consider the situation faced by Brian Bershad, a former UW computer-science professor who is now the engineering site director for Google Seattle/Kirkland. He’d like to hire more UW computer-science engineers — a lot more.
“If the UW could produce 1,000 amazing engineers every year,” Bershad said, “we’d find a way to hire them.”
But the university’s computer-sciences program already turns away hundreds of smart kids who apply annually. Future budget cutbacks could mean turning away still more.
There’s little doubt that state cutbacks will translate into higher tuition at all of the state’s two- and four-year colleges and universities. Many fear the cuts will erode the quality of state schools, which can’t raise tuition fast enough to make up for lost money.
But Bershad and others say the reductions have another, hidden cost: They erase opportunities for Washington students, meaning local kids won’t receive the training they need to land a job at Google — or with a local startup that one day could become the Next Big Thing.
“We’re making a dangerous, and deadly serious, policy decision to think we can systematically defund higher education without consequences,” said state Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, vice chair of the House’s higher-education committee. “Higher education is the DNA and soul of an innovation economy.”
Yes, I know that the snake oil salesman from Mukilteo has through the phony promise of the “good life” for the few who can’t see beyond their noses and who may have a legitimate gripe about the inefficiencies which are inherent in most organizations, but who have chosen to cut off their nose to spite their face and chosen to starve the state of resources. Well, folks, this is the result.
This state needs leadership to prioritize what is important for support of families, support of education and what really will provide the basis for job creation and job growth. Of course, no one wants to pour $$$$$ down a rat hole. What this means is the state, like many other entities must change the way it does business. Still, the population has to pay for services that are essential to fund the “Paramount Duty” of the state and to provide a platform for growth. We must have leaders that don’t just sit back and wait for consensus to develop. We need leaders with a vision of what this state can and should be and who are willing to sell that vision. A bus tour of the state, maybe? We need leaders who are willing to as Harry Truman once said, take on the snake oil salesman and his minions and “give them hell.”
If you care about families and children, the more you know, the more effective advocate you are.
Dr. Wilda may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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