Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: Pierce College


Two-year colleges on the front lines of economic recovery

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

Tacoma Community College President Pamela Transue doesn’t mince words when she talks about how budget cuts are hurting her school and Washington’s other two-year institutions.

“We’re watching the destruction of the educational system in our state,” she told The News Tribune editorial board in a recent visit by the five presidents of Pierce County’s community and technical colleges.

Since 2008, state funding for the two-year colleges has fallen by more than $1,000 per student and will fall to $1,200 less per student by 2013. The schools have cut staff, frozen salaries for five years, eliminated programs, made other efficiencies – and still were able to serve 19 percent more students since 2008.
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2-year colleges truly do transform lives

Chi Choi

The editorial board met this week with the presidents of the local two-year colleges – Tacoma Community College, Pierce College (Fort Steilacoom and Puyallup), Bates Technical College and Clover Park Technical College. Their schools have already absorbed big budget hits, and they wanted to convey their concerns about what yet more cuts could mean for the students they serve.

They were preaching to the choir; we’re well aware of the impact these schools can have in turning around the lives of people who might otherwise languish in low-wage jobs – if they can find work at all.

The presidents told us about a project of the Trustees Association of Community and Technical Colleges, “Transforming Lives,” recognizing 34 people who have benefited from their education at one of the state’s two-year institutions. Click here to read their compelling self-written profiles.

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Lakewood-Camp Murray marriage could be compatible

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

The City of Lakewood and Camp Murray have gotten chummier in recent weeks over the issue of moving the camp’s main gate. But should they take the relationship to the next level?

Lakewood and Camp Murray will explore whether it makes sense for the city to annex the 240-acre state-owned property. The site – home to the Air and Army national guards as well as the state’s emergency operations center – is currently in unincorporated Pierce County. But it’s within Lakewood’s urban growth boundary, and the city has long been interested in annexing it as well as Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

At first glance at least, annexation would seem to be more in Camp Murray’s interest than in Lakewood’s. The city likely would assume some infrastructure and maintenance responsibilities – such as contracting for road repair and snow removal. But it wouldn’t get sales or property tax revenue because there are no businesses or residences at the camp. Read more »