“Today’s House budget proposal lacks significant, new state investment in public higher education. Washington ranks second to last in the nation — 49th — in higher education funding per student, with 25,000 jobs in high demand industries awaiting graduates we do not have the funding to educate. If we are to compete in the 21st century economy, we can and must do better.
“In the absence of significant, new state investment, we appreciate this budget allows for modest tuition increases, which will be necessary to preserve student access to a high quality education. If we want to keep tuition increases low, the state must adequately reinvest in our students and public higher education.
“There is much more work to be done as budget negotiations progress, and I look forward to working with the House, Senate, and Governor on getting this right.”