Archives: Washington Policy Watch

Visioning Tuition-Free College


Economic Opportunity Institute | May 31, 2018

Seattle Colleges can be tuition-free! Let’s create a vision together about how that should happen! The mayor has announced that she plans to fund tuition-free community college for graduates of Seattle Public Schools. We want to hear what students have to say concerning what the Seattle Promise program should

Underfunding college shifts burden, debt to students

A view of Everett Community College. Source: Everett Community College

John Burbank | September 20, 2017

Monday night, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved an $80 billion annual increase in military spending, enough to make tuition free at all public colleges and universities in the country. President Donald Trump had only asked for $54 billion. Politicians from both parties derided Sen. Bernie Sanders for pl

Instead of Funding Boeing Layoffs, Let’s Fund Higher Education


John Burbank | August 24, 2017

Our state leaders have said they understand the importance of higher education for Washington’s citizens, yet disinvest in public education at the same time. When the state decreases funding for schools, tuition rises, making higher education increasingly out of reach for many, unless they take out gargantuan

Inslee’s budget is pragmatic — but our students need state leaders to go bold

Photo: Tax Credits (Flickr Creative Commons)

Marilyn Watkins | December 20, 2016

Whether delighted or appalled at the outcome of November’s national elections, pretty much everyone agrees good schools are important. Every kid deserves a shot at opportunity, regardless of the color of their skin, the income of their parents, or the zip code of their residence. Beyond that basic human right

Petition calls for taxing Olympia’s wealthiest households to create college fund

opportunity for olympia logo

Economic Opportunity Institute | April 15, 2016

[via The Olympian] A petition is circulating for a new ordinance that would tax Olympia’s wealthiest households to generate college tuition money for all local high school graduates. Backed by a volunteer group called Opportunity for Olympia, the proposal calls for creating a 1.5 percent tax on household inco

A path forward on full funding for Washington’s schools

jrb graph for herald column

John Burbank | September 28, 2015

Good public schools won’t solve all the problems we face — but public education is a crucial cornerstone for creating hope and opportunity for students, and for building stronger communities and a more prosperous, equitable economy. Ensuring every child has equal access to this ladder of opportunity, from pre

The cost of higher education in WA hasn’t increased much, but the price has gone up — here’s why

WSU state vs student

Aaron Keating | September 3, 2015

Adjusted for inflation, the total cost of higher education hasn’t changed much since the mid-1990’s. But the state’s share of that cost has dropped like a stone. Tuition and fees have increased to make up for state funding cuts — putting college out of reach for thousands of Washington’s high school graduate

How Washington is pricing thousands of high school graduates out of college

Tuition and fees 1965-2016

Aaron Keating | September 2, 2015

Affordable higher education was once a hallmark of living Washington state — but no more. Sure, tuition will drop a bit in 2015-16, but so will funding for state financial aid. And even adjusted for inflation, the cost of tuition and fees has skyrocketed. The Economic Opportunity Institute’s analysis of data

Who should pay for higher education in Massachusetts?

Source:  Higher Education Finance Commission

Economic Opportunity Institute | July 13, 2015

In 2013, UMass agreed with the Massachusetts state legislature to freeze tuition so long as the state provided adequate higher education funding. Just two years later, the state hasn’t held up its end of the deal and UMass has had to increase tuition. In fact, tuition at UMass has increased $3,313 since the s

WA Budget Roundup: Higher education gets a much-needed boost with tuition cuts

Source: WA LEAP and State of Working Washington

Kelli Smith | July 10, 2015

Let’s start with the good news The Washington State Legislature just passed a historic budget that’s already making national headlines for cutting tuition at all of our state’s public institutions for the first time in decades. Late Tuesday night, the Governor signed a compromise budget proposal which include

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