Fight brewing over College Bound scholarship

Jan 28, 2013
Originally published on January 26, 2013 10:04 am

OLYMPIA, Wash. – First it was Washington’s guaranteed tuition program. Now the new Majority Leader of the state senate has another college access program in his budget-cutting sights: College Bound. Democrat Rodney Tom says this higher education scholarship program is an unfunded state liability.

“It’s a great promise and it’s a promise that I think we should have as a state, Tom said.  "But, you know, it could be a $1 billion to $2 billion liability out there that we haven’t even recognized yet.”

College Bound is a paid tuition program for disadvantaged middle school students. They must maintain a 2.0 grade point average and avoid breaking the law. Senate Minority Leader Ed Murray calls Tom’s criticism a “direct attack” on college affordability.

“I’m just amazed at us stepping back from what was once viewed as a common good in this state and that we provided tools to help families pay for that education,” Murray said.

Washington lawmakers are looking for places to cut because of a nearly $1 billion budget shortfall and a state Supreme Court mandate to boost funding for public schools.

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