OLYMPIA—Final action recommending proposed 2011-13 higher education operating and capital budgets is expected when the Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB) meets at Washington State University Vancouver, November 15-16, 2010.
The HECB, the baccalaureate institutions, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC), and the Office of Financial Management (OFM) have been working on the proposals since last summer. The proposals reflect the awareness that a funding gap will continue to exist in 2011-13. However, they also assert the need for the state to re-establish a stable funding floor for higher education.
Higher education, in particular, has felt the consequences the recession in the last three years. For example:
· 2,741 state funded enrollment slots have been cut since 2009.
· State funding for each full-time college student has been reduced by 14 percent since 2009.
· Only 77 percent of enrolled students who are eligible for state financial aid are now receiving assistance, compared to 98 percent in 2009.
· State bond funding capacity for the entire 2011-13 capital budget has decreased by over 40 percent in the last six months.
“Further cuts to our public higher education system will prevent tens of thousands of students from pursuing their dream of earning a college degree at a time when we urgently need to be increasing the number of students we are serving,” said Don Bennett, HECB executive director.
After Board action, the budget recommendations will be sent to OFM, the Legislature, and the Governor’s Office for consideration in future action. The Governor’s 2011-13 biennial budget document will be released in mid-December.
The November Board meeting also will include Board action on a new degree program at Eastern Washington University, a BS in Health Informatics, Technology and Management; and approval of a proposed modification to the HECB’s College Admission Standards.
Also on the agenda are presentations from HECB staff on a new white paper covering projected job growth in occupations requiring postsecondary education, on Applied Baccalaureate Selection Process and Criteria; and an update on the College Bound Scholarship program.
Briefing materials for the meeting are available at: www.hecb.wa.gov/boardmtgs/index.asp