The article “GOP tuition cut would hurt state GET program, treasurer says” [Local News, June 1] raises important issues regarding the instability of our state’s tuition policy in recent years.
The treasurer responsibly points out that changing the unit value of existing Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) subscribers could have unknown legal and financial consequences. Meanwhile, reducing tuition is broadly supported by Democrats and Republicans in the state Senate, and by many in the state House.
The answer is to freeze or reduce tuition in a manner that preserves the value of GET credits that families have invested in for years to save for college. There are options to do this, including a hybrid tuition freeze-reduction policy or a more modest across-the-board tuition reduction including the 388,000 students at our community colleges.
In combination with investment in financial-aid programs, such as the State Need Grant and College Bound, we can unify the Legislature behind the idea that the tuition increases have gone too far in recent years for both middle-class and lower-income families. A new direction is needed that ties our policy to a thoughtful, logical metric, such as the cost of instruction, anticipated student debts, wages or family income.
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We’d address tuition for this cycle and work on a bipartisan basis to develop that metric toward a solution that is sustainable, reinvests in financial aid and maintains confidence in our college-savings program. This is a responsible way to ensure college affordability for the next generation as the Legislature finalizes a budget agreement.
State Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle