“Gov. Chris Gregoire is scheduled to unveil her budget proposal this morning a plan to close a $2 billion gap in the states 2011-13 spending plan. Shes expected to announce additional budget reductions on top of the $10 billion in cuts the state has taken over the last three years.
South Sound residents have a special interest in the governors plan for higher education spending because it will have a direct impact on our two local institutions South Puget Sound Community College and The Evergreen State College.
Both colleges have taken huge hits to their budgets over the last three years and college presidents warn that additional reductions will reduce the number of students able to attend classes. And because SPSCC and Evergreen are two of South Sounds largest employers, additional budget reductions will have a negative impact on the local economy. The Thurston County economy annually receives about $30 million in income due to SPSCC operations.”
“Both Purce and Pumphrey say that enrollment levels simply cannot be sustained with additional cuts. More students will be denied admission and depending on cuts to student financial aid, work study and federal Pell grants fewer students will be able to afford a college education.”