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

It’s hard to find a parking spot at Wallace Falls State Park

There’s a study under way on how to tackle that issue and others.

At long last, a church of his own

After years of filling in elsewhere, Hallack Greider is the new pastor at Maplewood Presbyterian.

Judge: Lawmakers’ emails, texts subject to public disclosure

News organizations had sued to challenge the Legislature’s claim that members were exempt.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Outgoing councilwoman honored by Marysville Fire District

The Marysville Fire District in December honored outgoing City Councilwoman Donna Wright… Continue reading

Officials rule train-pedestrian death an accident

The 37-year-old man was trying to move off the tracks when the train hit him, police say.

Ex-Monroe cop re-arrested after losing sex crime case appeal

He was sentenced to 14 months in prison but was free while trying to get his conviction overturned.

Everett district relents on eminent domain moving expenses

Homeowners near Bothell still must be out by April to make way for a planned new high school.

Number of flu-related deaths in county continues to grow

Statewide, 86 people have died from the flu, most of whom were 65 or older.

Most Read