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In the News

Lawmakers visit Western Washington University – talk about state funding for higher education

wa state capitol

The Washington State Legislature was called into special session by Governor Jay Inslee last week to address requests from a major aerospace employer that could have significant impact to the state of Washington. Just prior to the special session, many legislators were in Bellingham attending the annual Munro Seminar for Civic Education, held at Western Washington University. There, legislators discussed higher education and state funding.

The Western Front – James Hearne

Some of the most influential lawmakers in Washington state visited Western Washington University on Tuesday, Nov. 5, and Wednesday, Nov. 6.

Officials were originally scheduled to stay until Nov. 7 after Washington Governor Jay Inslee called a special legislative session.ralph munro institute

On their short visit, officials discussed education and other issues during the conference in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room.

The Munro Seminar for Civic Education included a total of three panels, featuring lawmakers as well as academic and business leaders from all over the state. The annual conference was hosted by Western’s Political Science Department.

“This panel was really important,” said Sara Weir, chair of the political science department. “It dealt with the question of how we begin to return to greater support for higher education.”

Washington state Sen. David Frockt, who represents the 46th District, said during one panel that education funding was one of the key topics.

“[A topic we discussed is] how we’re going to maintain the progress we have made in terms of higher education funding this year,” said Frockt. “Which was good, in light of our other obligations on the K-12 side.”

Those other obligations are a result of the decision in McCleary v. State of Washington. In that case, the Washington Supreme Court found that Washington was not fulfilling its obligation in the state constitution to “fully fund” primary school education and said the state must keep the court informed as to its progress.

 

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