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