Inside Opinion

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

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Tag: Washington State University

Oct.
24th

Approve amendments and maintain tax actions

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

Voters can be excused if they’re scratching their heads over four measures on the Nov. 6 ballot. The ballot language can be confusing, especially on the two advisory vote measures.

We’ll make it easy for you. The News Tribune editorial board recommends that you vote “approved” on the two constitutional amendments (ESJR 8221 and SJR 8223) and “maintained” on the two advisory votes. Here’s why. Read more »

May
12th

Behind high tuitions, there’s $2.4 billion in financial aid

There’s bad news for would-be college students, then good news, then more bad news. Stick with us.

The bad – for most Washington students – is the new round of steep tuition increases headed their way. Earlier this month, Washington State University approved its second consecutive 16 percent increase, which will raise the price of next year’s schooling by $1,500.

The University of Washington also looks headed for a 16 percent increase; the UW and WSU will each cost something north of $11,000 in 2012-2013. Tuition will be lower at other public universities and lower still at community and technical

Read more »

Aug.
17th

Grading Washington’s four-year schools: An F for UW?

In today’s column, Kathleen Parker writes about a new study, What Will They Learn, conducted by the nonprofit American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA). It grades about 700 of the nation’s four-year colleges and universities, focusing on their “requirements as a measure of what an institution actually delivers.” Institutions typically were downgraded for not requiring students to take courses in economics, government and history.

Only 16 schools received A grades, and none were in Washington. The highest grade earned in this state was Seattle University’s B. Cougars have some bragging rights over the University of Washington, earning a C compared to the F for UW. (That grade has me wondering about the quality of this study, frankly.)

One very notable oversight was the study’s failure to include Pacific Lutheran University – even though the ACTA saw fit to rate City University. Spokesman David Azerrad said that the organization had limited resources and only this year expanded its rating pool from 100 to 700 schools. PLU’s absence, he said, “has been duly noted” and it will probably be included next year. PLU’s challenge: Beat the D earned by the University of Puget Sound.

Here’s how the state schools rated. Also included are graduation rates and in-school tuition and fees for a year. Read more »

Feb.
22nd

State colleges can’t afford bargain tuition

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

Make no mistake: No matter what the Legislature does this year regarding funding for Washington’s public universities, students will pay a price.

State coffers simply don’t have the money to hold higher education harmless. Lawmakers must decide between sacrificing bargain tuition or educational quality.

The right choice is clear. True college opportunity depends on strong colleges. Giving top schools more leeway to price themselves will help ensure that students continue to get the classes they need and the rigor they deserve.

Without that flexibility, universities are at the mercy of the state budget – and the outlook is alarming. Students once paid a third of the cost of their education; now they pay more than half. The current $2.8 billion shortfall is likely to further the trend of declining state support.

Read more »

Dec.
15th

WSU forest plan will benefit Bonney Lake

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

A proposed deal for divvying up the Washington State University experimental forest between the City of Bonney Lake and private development looks like one the city shouldn’t pass up.

Today the 147-acre forest is closed to the public and generates no tax revenue. But if the City Council agrees next Tuesday to the rezone needed to implement the proposed development agreement, Bonney Lake would get: 47 acres for a much-needed park and site for a YMCA, tax revenue from medical offices and 600 new homes, improvements to 36 intersections to offset traffic impacts of those new homes, a north-south connection between Highway 410 and South Prairie Road, and jobs related to building all those projects.
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