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McKenna vs Insley .. are they serious about Higher Ed?

Darryl points out that the likely Republican has made statemetns about finacial support for higher education that make no sense:

The only problem is…he has no way to fund the pricey stuff he proposed:

“Rob McKenna’s $5.76 billion education plan flunks basic math,” said Aaron Ostrom, Executive Director of Fuse Washington, the state’s largest progressive organization. “He’s trying to fool voters with a smoke and mirrors plan that even he himself has labeled ‘hard to fathom.’”

McKenna made two specific and ambitious spending proposals:

  • Doubling higher education spending from 8 percent ($2.56 billion) to 16 percent ($5.12 billion) of the state’s $32 billion budget, an increase of $2.56 billion.
  • Growing public education’s share of the budget from 41 percent ($13.12 billion) to 51 percent ($16.32 billion), an additional increase of $3.2 billion.

In total, Rob McKenna proposed $5.76 billion in new spending in just one hour – $600 million more than the budget deficit the Legislature spent nearly five months working to close.

To pay for it, McKenna has two modest proposals…. Regardless of the merits or feasibility of either proposal, combined they would pay for just 13 percent of McKenna’s new spending.

McKenna is also relying on revenue assumptions that don’t pass muster, even with himself. When pushed by several reporters after his speech, McKenna admitted he was also relying on the estimated 13 percent growth in government revenue (approximately $4 billion) for the next biennium.

Big talk…zero chance of realizing it—the math just doesn’t pan out. Man…that McKenna sure has difficulties when it comes to mathematics!

I would LOVE to hear a debate between Insley and McKenna on higher education!

Aside form the dollars issues, it would be very cool to ask them how we should deal with the FACT that 1/3 of incoming students at the UW are not able to take college level science because they do not have highs school math.

At the same time, the legislature just approved “WGU” … an online “university” that claims to be able to prepare high school science teachers by sending out lab kits in a bix and with NO instructors to help students with math or science.

Jay’s District is ESPECIALLY “hot” because of the inane fights over creating a much needed state polytechnical college in Everett.  The current plan is t create what I call a “Potemkin U” … a faux campus of WSU without the resources to do its job.  

I sincerely doubt that Washington’s students or employers will be well served by WGU or by PU!


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