Washington's public-university presidents say they have a deal for the Legislature: If lawmakers will restore $225 million in state funding to higher education, the schools won't raise tuition for the next two years.
The proposal, from the state's six higher-education presidents, comes a few weeks after outgoing Gov. Chris Gregoire set a goal of no tuition increases for the next biennium. But her budget included no additional money for the five universities and one four-year college, The Evergreen State College.
That budget was "full of assumptions that are not likely to happen," said state Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina, chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee.
"Do I think it will be difficult to find $225 million? Yes," Hunter said. "But can we continue to do this long-term destruction of the higher-ed system? No."
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