Fight Brewing Over College Bound Scholarship

Jan 25, 2013

First it was Washington’s guaranteed tuition program. Now the new majority leader of the state Senate has another college access program in his budget-cutting sights: College Bound.

Democrat Rodney Tom says this higher ed scholarship program is an unfunded state liability.

“It’s a great promise and it’s a promise that I think we should have as a state but, you know, it could be a $1 billion to $2 billion liability out there that we haven’t even recognized yet," Tom says.

College Bound is a paid tuition program for disadvantaged middle school students. They must maintain a 2.0 grade point average and avoid breaking the law.

Senate Minority Leader Ed Murray calls Tom’s criticism a “direct attack” on college affordability.

“I’m just amazed at us stepping back from what was once viewed as a common good in this state and that we provided tools to help families pay for that education," Murray says.

Washington lawmakers are looking for places to cut because of a nearly $1 billion budget shortfall and a state Supreme Court mandate to boost funding for public schools.

Copyright 2013 Northwest News Network