More than 250 students from Washington’s community and technical colleges rallied in Olympia on Friday with the message: “We are the future, don’t cut the future.” The 2013 Community Student Legislative Rally organized the event at the Capitol Rotunda to bring attention to rising costs of tuition, programs, class selections and textbook prices.
“We’re here today to ask our lawmakers to stop raising tuition and cutting our funding,” said Kailene Sparrs, president of the Washington State Community and Technical College Student Association. “We want our students to be able to get an education so they can go out and get jobs and be contributing members of the community.”
“When you look at compounding costs for students, tuition has actually increased by approximately 100 percent over the last four years,” said Highline Community College trustee Dan Altmayer. “We need more money for the system so we can do this without putting on the backs of our students.”
Administrators from several community and technical colleges spoke at the rally, along with students and state legislators.
“My goal is to make sure that every single person who wants a higher education in the state, gets an education, and gets a job in their field afterward,” said Sen. Barbara Bailey (R-Oak Harbor), chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee.
Joshua Armstrong, a student from Edmonds Community College, said he may not be able to finish school because of the cost.
“My biggest fear is to not be able to continue my education due to rising tuition costs,” Armstrong said.