The Seattle Times recently reported that the state Senate’s plan to freeze tuition contributed to the Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program’s long-term viability. Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler notes the positive effects of the first tuition freeze in nearly three decades.
“We had some serious concerns over the GET program. It was a huge cost, creating a $630 million unfunded liability for taxpayers. Our work to stem the tide of rising college tuition has made not only a difference for today’s students but for those making investments in their children’s futures.
“The budget we agreed on with no hikes in tuition means a forecasted $161 million surplus for the program. This is great fiscal policy that directly impacts middle-class families by eliminating an unfunded liability. The State Actuary didn’t think we could reach this goal this fast and we are well ahead of schedule.
“Had we gone with the House Democrats and Governor’s proposal, the GET program would still be in a deficit.
“This is due to the hard work of our members and the leadership of the Higher Education Committee chair, Sen. Barbara Bailey. She saw the value of GET providing an opportunity for working families to invest in their children’s education. Without her commitment the picture would be a lot different today and those opportunities may have been lost. I know she continues to work to ensure that this option for middle-class families remains viable into the future,” said Schoesler.