State funding puts strain on Highline
By Thunderword Staff
Washington state has underfunded education for every level of school and Highline has been continually been affected by this.
As of the 2016-2017 school year Highline gets 57 percent of its funding from the state.
The rest of the funding comes from tuition and local support, 27 percent and 16 percent respectively.
That funding is later broken down by the college in the general operating budget and allocated to what is most necessary, which is decided by the school.
This shows the importance of getting fully funded from the state.
Without the funds from the state improving, there is no real recourse for Highline to improve services add programs or offer more classes.
Washington state has for the last decade has been on down- ward trend of funding higher education in their budget.
In a report done by State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, Washington state and many other states have not fully funded higher education since the great recession of 2007- 2008.
According to the report, Washington state in 2008 was spend- ing $7,998 per student when funding higher education. In 2012 that dropped to $5,130 in funding.
The funding later began to increase once again in 2016, rising to $6,641. It again increased in 2017 to $6,982.
While these recent increases show a push to prioritize higher education in the state budget, funding is still not where it should be given that it is nowhere near the levels it was in 2008.
This greatly impacts Highline because when the state does not give funding at a rate that keeps up with both inflation and en- rollment. It leaves the college not able to fund what is truly neces- sary, hurting students' educational experience.
When the state reaches the 2008 levels of funding it could lead to colleges that are not only fully funded but able to expand and offer better education for their students.
What the state is currently doing with funding, not only hurts Highline but students.
In the long term, if the funding does not increase. Highline would have look for ways to increase funding which may be hav- ing to ask the state to increase tuition to fill the gap that is cur- rently left by the state.
Highline and many other colleges around the state are tasked with educating the people of future. When they do not have the right resources for that task you are left with people who are not truly ready for the jobs and careers of the future.
Funding higher education is not only about the students of to- day, but is also about the world we are shaping tomorrow.
It is pivotal that Highline is fully funded. It services some 17,000 students and it is growing every year, not fully funding the school leads to students not getting the best possible education.
If Washington state does not see how important it is to fund higher education, it will lead to colleges that are struggling to have the best service for their students.