Archive for October, 2009
Tags: House Higher Education
In October, Higher Education welcomed a new fiscal analyst for higher education in the House of Representatives – Serah Stetson.
Serah formerly held a positin as a fiscal analyst for General Government Operatings in the Office of Policy Research and prior to this role was a financial aid adminstrator in Washington.
Stetson replaces long-time higher education fiscal analyst Debbie Driver who recently took an analyst position with Transportation.
Tags: Operating Budget
In early October, President Purce joined the presidents of the other five, public baccalaureate institutions to testify before the Senate Higher Education Committee regarding the impact of budget reductions on Evergreen’s operating budget.
President Purce emphasized the commitment of Evergreen to current students and the Legislature’s instructions to preserve access and maintain to the extent possible the educational experience. He highlighted the investment in financial aid, withholding 20% of tuition increases for institutional financial aid; minimization of impacts on student employment; and the expansion of enrollment.
Despite this, the bottom line for Evergreen is an unsustainable one, stated President Purce. Evergreen’s tuition increased by 14% per year for undergraduate resident students. The College’s budget was cut 8%, primarily in non-instructional areas (i.e. student services, facilities). And increased retention – a good thing- has led to an estimated over-enrollment of 5%.
Perhaps what is most concerning is what lies ahead. The fiscal realities, pressures for access, and risks to quality of education and affordability Washington experienced last year are not a thing of the past.
With all this said, President Purce concluded with the following. Evergreen believes that it is time to link conversations about the immediate concern of balancing budgets with the long-term funding and policy needs identified in the state’s strategic plan for higher education.
The Evergreen State College welcomes the opportunity to work with the Legislature to find ways to respond to the large and complex policy issues facing our state and our sector.
Tags: Operating Budget
The Washington State Legislature convened several committees focused on the impact and future of the 2009-11 biennial budget during the fall Assembly Days on October 1 & 2.
Members of Senate Ways & Means received a thorough overview of the operating budget and changes that have occurred since the budget was passed in April. Staff estimated that the Washington Legislature will face a deficit between $1 billion and $1.5 billion in the 2010 session. This is due to declining revenues, the resolution of lawsuits, and increases in caseload.
The exact size of the deficit, however, remains unknown at this time. There are several cues to watch in the coming months to determine the true size of the deficit legislators will face in the 2010 supplemental session.
- On November 3 Washington voters will weigh in on various initiatives that could impact the state operating budget.
- On November 19 the November revenue forecast will be released, which will be preceded by a caseload report.
- In December the Governor will release her 2010 supplemental budget.
- Finally, between now and January the resolution of several court cases that focus on 2009-11 budget reductions in the area of human services as well as cases that center on the investment that the state has made in K-12 education will likely take place.
While we know approximately the size of the budget deficit Washington will face come January, it is still very much a game of wait and see.