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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 21, 2013 at 7:30 AM

Funding for higher education

Close tax loopholes, fund higher education

Let’s stop kicking our children off the ladder of opportunity with tuition increases, inadequate aid levels and doubling of student loan interest rates. Since World War II, higher education has been the path to equal opportunity and good jobs in America. That’s how we created the middle class and gave everyone — rich or poor — a shot at the American dream.

After four years of budget cuts, that dream is becoming a nightmare of high tuition, student loans the size of a home mortgage and a college degree out of reach for middle-class students from Bellingham to Walla Walla.

Even if we avoid a state shutdown on July 1, we still have a long way to go to restoring our higher-education system. Nationwide, state funding for colleges and universities is 23 percent lower than it was in 2008, when the recession hit. UW tuition has nearly doubled in the past five years, now consuming more than one-fifth of an average Washington family’s income. We can’t have a high-tech economy without a higher-education system. This is a job-killer.

We can provide funding for education while making our tax system more fair by closing tax loopholes that can’t show they produce jobs.

Rep. Gerry Pollet, 46th District, Seattle

Comments | More in Economy, Education, Politics | Topics: college, debt, education

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