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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 12, 2009 at 4:48 PM

Higher education cuts

Don’t underinvest in our future

I have long been frustrated by the low priority given to supporting our four-year higher-education institutions, particularly the University of Washington.

According to the State Higher Education Finance report produced by State Higher Education Executive Officers, Washington state ranks 46th in the country, right above Florida and below Utah, in total revenue support per student of public higher education.

My frustration was compounded this legislative session because the budget proposed in the House cuts support to universities by 30 percent. The cut to four-year institutions is higher than any other part of the state budget. The cuts being proposed and considered in the state of Washington are second in severity only to those being considered in Nevada. The University of Michigan, for example, is only having their budget cut 3 percent.

Now is the time to increase, or at least preserve, investment in our future. It would appear that we plan to double-down on underinvestment and it is disappointing. Do we aspire to be lower than Florida?

— Jonathan D. Roberts, Bellevue

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