GET Thee To a Nunnery

Goldy reports on Rodney Tom’s (among others) attempts to kill the state’s GET program.

“We don’t need to be in that business,” state senator Rodney Tom (R-Medina) insisted about the program while speaking at a January 10 Associated Press forum in Olympia. It was a sentiment with which Senator Steve Litzow (R-Mercer Island) and Representative Ross Hunter (D-Medina) later agreed. That’s three lawmakers from two of the wealthiest zip codes in the state dissing a program that has been a boon for the real middle-class families statewide.

Talk about being out of touch.

Lawmakers instead appear eager to implement “differential tuition” pricing, permitting universities to charge more for certain majors, like engineering and business management.

If you’d like to contact Rodney Tom and let him know that you don’t think the state legislature should be dismantling public education, or middle class access to public education, you can do so here. If you want to let the members of the House and Senate Higher Ed committees know you want to preserve access to higher ed, you can let them know at the links. If you’d like to find your own legislator and let them know, that’s great too.

My own plan to save GET is here.


  1. 1

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Just politely tell Mr. Tom that Washington is a Democratic state; our citizens elected a Democratic governor, house, and senate; and the people we elected to represent us are NOT going to enact the GOP’s agenda. After all, that’s why we have elections.

  2. 2

    rhp6033 spews:

    The “old” strategy was for middle-class families to save for eighteen+ years in order to have sufficient funds to put little Johnny or Sally through college at a state institution of higher learning.

    The alternate strategy was to stay poor, don’t buy a house or save for kid’s college or retirement, and allow federal financial aid to pay for the kid’s college.

    Looking at it just from a financial perspective, there are sound reasons to choose the second alternative. After all, saving the amounts required (especially for more than one child) involves real sacrifice for the middle-class. Skipped vacations, no trips to take the kids to Disneyland, etc. Yet if one were to try to save dilligently, the current rates of returns for individual investors (from passbook to mutual funds) comes nowhere close to keeping pace with tuition – especially as the state keeps cutting it’s contribution to the state colleges.

    The key which makes the GET program possible is that the better bargaining power of the state in handling large sums of money should create better investment returns overall. This is the same strategy used by unions in maintaining their pension plans, and by insurance companies who invest their client’s premium dollars. The GET program also has an advantage in that being administered by the state, tuition increases and GET funding are tied together – savings on the tuition front results in costs on the GET front. If this were a rational world, the state would keep state college financing healthy in order to avoid losing money on the GET program.

    But alas, this isn’t a rational world – especially among the Republicans and the Democrats who consider themselves as representing the wealthy. To them. increased tuition, without accompanying financial aid, just reduces the number of competitors that their own Aaron and Sarah must contend with. It more easily ensures their won children’s admission to state colleges, and makes the final diploma more valuable.

    As for the middle-class, they figure that they can pull themselves up by their own boot-straps and somehow work two or three jobs in order to pay for their children’s college, if they really want to.

    For most of those wealthy folks, they have completely convinced themselves that they are entitled to have their children go to a state college and have others do without, because darn’ it, the are “smarter, harder working, better dressed, and good looking, too”. They deserve it! It’s remarkable how many of those folks are really just second or third generation wealthy, yet believe that way. In reality, they are just one setback to poor old gramps away from toiling away at a menial job for minimum wage.