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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 14, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Higher-ed tuition increases

Faculty and staff should also sacrifice

One shakes one’s head and reads the stunning editorial yet again [“Yes, to four-year tuition increases,” Opinion, April 9]. Our Democratic governor’s answer to keep students enrolling during hard times is to jack up tuition by effectively 30 percent, and the schools and The Seattle Times concur? Marie Antoinette had nothing on them.

Workers all over America are being laid off or are taking drastic cuts in pay, hours and benefits, scraping by and doing without, all of which hamstrings financially struggling students. Yet, are we seeing our largely leftist, elitist, ivory-tower university faculties and staffs step up to the proverbial plate to take their fair share of sacrifice by volunteering, say, 10 percent pay cuts per professor and staffer for the duration of the crisis?

I’ve been looking, but I haven’t seen one solitary such overture of any kind from members of the academic community, all of whom are rather lavishly paid — some even say poshly overpaid — by most workers’ standards.

Instead of universities cutting pay and benefits to do a little suffering of their own for the sake of students, they join Gov. Gregoire and The Times in sneering, “Let them eat cake!”

— William Slusher, Okonogan

Better than cutting preschool programs

The Times’ April 9 editorial is the better choice for the Legislature to make with this year’s budget problems.

As a public educator and school nurse for 26 years, I can live with college students working more to pay their own tuition, or even spending an additional year to obtain a college degree.

What I cannot live with are cuts to preschool and kindergarten programs. The small ones need the preschool programs desperately.

While observing kids in kindergarten, it is quickly obvious the ones who enjoyed and benefited from a good preschool program. They enter kindergarten with many additional skills and knowledge and have a great start to their educational careers.

Every one of our small citizens deserve this good start and our communities benefit in many ways, including financially, by investing in these programs.

— Mary Kathryn Myers, Kent

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