State restores some funding to EvCC, EdCC after cuts

OLYMPIA — Leaders at Everett and Edmonds community colleges are about to receive a little extra state aid to improve academic programs and restore jobs eliminated during recession-driven budget cuts.

Edmonds Community College will get $712,430 over the next two years and EvCC will receive $697,065 during the same period.

This money is part of a $37 million increase for Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges in the state budget. On Wednesday, the state Board for Community and Technical Colleges on Wednesday approved how those dollars will be distributed among the colleges.

“It’s really beneficial to everyone,” said Marty Brown, executive director of the state board. The extra dollars make up roughly 1.3 percent of the operating budgets at the campuses in Edmonds and Everett.

EvCC President David Beyer welcomed the increase after four years of cuts that totaled almost $9 million.

“The Legislature’s decision to restore some of those cuts is greatly appreciated by students, faculty and staff, as we prepare to welcome thousands of students who will take classes fall quarter,” he said.

EvCC has not decided how it will spend the money.

A top Edmonds Community College official said he was “very thankful” the state board agreed to allocate the money using the same formula used when they had to make cuts. It meant Edmonds received more because it had taken deeper cuts.

Kevin McKay, EdCC’s vice president for finance and operations, said the money will be used to help balance this year’s budget, restore “very critical” positions and deal with neglected infrastructure needs.

Specifically, he said the college is looking at adding staffing to serve veteran students, students with disabilities and students utilizing the tutoring center. They intend to hire another security officer and will look at upgrading resources in the library and computer labs.

“These dollars directly impact our students and their educational experience,” he said.

Higher education emerged in the prolonged legislative session as an issue on which Democrats and Republicans could agree: They wanted to put in more money and bar tuition increases and they did both.

Lawmakers understood the damage to students of four years of budget cuts and double-digit tuition increases, said Rep. Larry Seaquist, D-Gig Harbor, chairman of the House Higher Education Committee, said.

“Our overall goal was to get the colleges and universities back to normal baseline funding after several years of severe budget cuts without further raising tuition,” he said.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Man suspected of robbing Rite Aids

Mill Creek police released a sketch Monday evening of the suspect.

Police looking for Lynnwood bank robber

The robber did not flash a weapon to the teller at a U.S. Bank.

Here’s how much property taxes will rise to pay for schools

The owner of a $350,000 home is looking at a property-tax hike of nearly $300 this year.

Everett man accused of causing his baby’s brain damage

He told police he shook his son to get him to stop crying, and the boy slipped out of his hands.

At one point she dropped out; now she’s graduation-bound

Anita Bradford-Diaz has had her share of setbacks, but they only seem to increase her motivation.

Employee threats caused lockdown at Arlington elementary

Arlington Police said all students and staff were.

Residents are helping turn Casino Road in a new direction

An initiative backed by a $700,000 grant goes to the community for solutions to the area’s challenges.

With an immigrant’s help, kids reach out to Filipino children

Marysville students drew and sent portraits. Thanks to a video, they got to see the reaction.

Live in Edmonds? Hate speeders?

Edmonds has $35,000 to address local residents’ concerns about speeding in their… Continue reading

Most Read