Inslee takes action to help struggling higher ed institutions
All of our schools, K-12 and higher education, are struggling with the increased costs of providing learning during a pandemic. That’s why Governor Jay Inslee’s recent action to send $44 million from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund of the CARES Act to our public higher education institutions is so important.
These funds will help our colleges and universities fill gaps created by the short-term downturn in enrollment stemming from COVID-19. These funds will help our colleges and universities continue their work to reduce equity gaps, fulfill their missions, and sustain operations during this critical time – a time when we expect many, many displaced workers to be coming back to our campuses for job re-training, certificates, and degrees in the near future.
“Students across Washington, especially low income students, will benefit from Governor Inslee's decision to support higher education,” said Bill Lyne, president of United Faculty of Washington State. “The GEER funding will help address the financial problems at our colleges and universities.”
WEA, AFT Washington, and the United Faculty of Washington State recently sent a letter thanking the Governor for taking this action. “We truly appreciate that you allocated the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund of the CARES Act to our higher education institutions,” the letter reads. “This act shows both our members and our state how much you value higher education as a primary engine of recovery.”
“Governor Inslee's smart choice will help ensure that our students get the classes and advising they need at a time when they need it most,” said Lyne.
While these funds are immensely helpful, they’re just a stop-gap measure. We entered this pandemic with a need for more state investment in our colleges and universities and they will continue to face funding shortfalls until we address the larger problem.
We appreciate the Governor’s leadership during these difficult times and are grateful for the impact this funding will have.