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The Seattle Times published an interview with Marty Brown, the retiring executive director of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges [“State’s community colleges deserve funding,” NWThursday, Dec. 29]. How right Mr. Brown is!

For those of us working in the Seattle Community Colleges, this lack of funding is even worse than indicated in the article. Faculty and staff salaries have barely budged in the last decade. A full-time teacher, who needs a master’s degree for most positions, starts at a salary of about $54,000. Staff salaries are even lower. Think about this in contrast to the cost of a starter house anywhere in the region. Think about this in comparison to the new wave of high-tech jobs.

Did you attend community college? Do you work with community-college graduates? Have you hired them? If so, you have benefited from the wide variety of opportunities we provide. This critical part of higher education in Seattle is very much at risk. If no new funding is provided, we will witness the deterioration or even loss of a very good thing.

Dennis Schaffer, Seattle, North Seattle College instructor

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