May 9, 1995 in City

More Funds For Colleges Urged Sfcc Student Leaders Also Call For Minimal Tuition Increases

By The Spokesman-Review

Student leaders from Spokane Falls Community College called Monday for minimal tuition increases and better funding for state colleges.

“We want to encourage our legislators to continue funding higher education at least at the current level,” said Kurtis Walton, student president.

The students said they support a Senate bill to tie increases in higher education funding to increases in average personal income in the state. The Senate is proposing a 10 percent tuition increase.

A competing House bill would provide slightly less money for community colleges than the Senate bill, and would set higher tuition rates. Under the House bill, the state would raise tuition at least 10 percent and then give each campus the authority to raise tuition by another 15 percent.

The SFCC students said higher education is becoming so expensive that many middle- and lowerincome students may not be able to afford it in the future.

Christiane Rivard, student vice president, said she is working three part-time jobs to pay for college.

Rivard said the health of the area economy depends on having college-educated workers, so it’s in the best interests of the public to support affordable education.

State residents pay $1,298 a year for tuition at community colleges, $2,257 a year at Eastern Washington University and three other regional four-year schools and $2,908 at Washington State University and the University of Washington.

That is comparable to tuition rates in other states.

The students made their plea for lower tuition increases and better funding during a news conference at the Riverpoint Higher Education campus, where a new classroom building is under construction.

“It’s pointless to build a building if students can’t afford to go to school,” said Steve Hurley, legislative liaison for SFCC students.

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