In just four years, tuition at the University of Washington has skyrocketed 82%. Tuition at the other state colleges is also waaaaay up. It costs more than $12,000 a year at the “U” now. When I was there in the early 80’s, it was less than $1,000.
And the heads of the state colleges threatened to raise it even more a couple weeks ago if the legislature didn’t give them a quarter-billion dollars.
That’s when state Senator Pam Roach from Auburn stepped in and asked the Attorney General’s office if that was even legal. Two months ago voters, for the fourth time, passed a ballot measure stating that taxes and fees had to be passed by elected officals who are accountable to the public. Legislators had delegated authority for that to the colleges.
Last week the AG’s office reiterated that the initiative requires tuition to be set only by the legislature. That should mean at least a brief reprieve from these double digit tuition spikes that are making state colleges increasingly inaccessible for middle class and working class families.