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News Links | August 3, 2017

August 03, 2017 by SBCTC Communications

System News | Opinion

Editorial: Capital budget delay costs money, opportunities

Schools aren’t getting built. Roofs aren’t being repaired. And wells aren’t being drilled. No one’s getting what they want. And the state’s residents aren’t getting the good government they are due. Lawmakers left Olympia last month with two major issues unresolved: legislation that Republicans wanted to address a state Supreme Court decision over water rights for private development and a $4 billion capital budget that should now be funding school and other construction projects, public works projects, park acquisition and development and more. ... The delays, Lynnwood Mayor Nicola Smith said, add to the costs of construction when contractors are lost to other work and have to be called back later, such as the project to build a $37.8 million science facility at Edmonds Community College in her city. And maintenance work, such as roof replacement projects at EdCC and Everett Community College, can increase with deterioration of facilities.
Everett Herald, Aug. 2, 2017

Ribbon cutting for new medical center shared by CBC and Kadlec

Columbia Basin College and Kadlec Regional Medical Center opened up their new medical science center in Richland. The Wortman Medical Center — named for former Kadlec CEO Rand Wortman — will be a new medical center where both CBC and Kadlec will use to help the community.
NBC Right Now, Aug. 2, 2017

Treehouse tops goal in boosting five-year graduation rates

When Brianna had to move from Renton to Bellevue during her senior year of high school, she wasn’t sure if she could maintain the A’s and B’s she was earning at Renton High School. Her foster parents were moving out of the state, so she was on her own for the first time. ... As Brianna set and met her goals, Treehouse did, too. When the organization launched Graduation Success in 2012, it established a five-year goal that students in foster care across King County would graduate at the same rate as their classmates. ... Throughout the year, Taji Ellis, an education specialist at Renton High School, meets with students to discuss their grades and attendance. ... Ellis helped Leroy, a Renton graduate who just finished his first year at Grays Harbor College, with writing out goal sheets.
The Seattle Times, Aug. 2, 2017

SCC’s Newport branch launches welding and fabrication program

The Newport branch of Spokane Community College will offer a welding and fabrication certificate beginning in January, with room for 20 students in each graduating class. An SCC news release said the one-year program will take place in the welding and fabrication lab at Newport High School and will be taught by one of the high school’s instructors. All courses in the program will be taught in the evening to accommodate students who work or have family obligations during the day. Students will benefit from a $49,152 rural business development grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which will help cover the costs of child care, gas, tools, safety equipment and other needs separate from tuition. The grant also will pay for a special assistant called a “navigator” who will help students complete the program and find employment.
The Spokesman-Review, Aug. 1 2017

Capital budget failure has millions of dollars in local effects

The lack of an approved state capital budget has caused some concern for local projects as millions of dollars in possible funding is tied up until the Legislature can agree on a deal to fund construction projects. The Washington state Legislature adjourned last month without passing a state capital budget with a total of roughly $4 billion in funding. Many millions of dollars in funds are earmarked for local projects, specifically two massive education undertakings centered around Ridgefield. ... Without that capital budget, projects like Clark College at Boschma Farms are sitting in limbo. Clark College President Bob Knight sent a letter to local legislators regarding the capital budget stall which has hampered progression on a new campus project for the institution in East Ridgefield. In the letter, Knight estimated that the total impact from a lack of capital funding would be in the range of $8.1 million, including $5.2 million in pre-design for the campus.
The Reflector, Aug. 1, 2017

Say “cheers” at South Sound craft beer, cider and spirits events

Summer may be in its final month, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end. This is the perfect time of year to take advantage of great brewing and distilling events taking place around the area. ... An innovative new program centered around brewing and distilling is making its debut in September at South Puget Sound Community College. “It really focuses on integrating both the kind of hard industry skills around craft brewing, distilling and cider, as well as integrating a lot of business skills,” says SPSCC Dean of Social Science and Business, Valerie Sundby-Thorp. 
Thurston Talk, Aug. 1, 2017

Trends | Horizons | Education

The case for higher ed in a job-focused world

Facing skeptical public and politicians, campus business officers discuss strategies for making a more practical case for higher education.
Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 2, 2017

Politics | Local, State, National

Senate passes GI Bill update

The Senate unanimously passed an ambitious update to the Post-9/11 GI Bill Wednesday, just over a week after the House of Representatives passed an identical version of the legislation. The bill will next head to President Trump's desk.
Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 3, 2017

Opposition to Trump-backed immigration bill

A bill backed by President Trump and announced Wednesday aims to reduce overall legal immigration by half while putting in place a new points-based system for applicants for employment-based green cards that would privilege graduates of American universities. Some higher education groups say that while they want to see changes to America's immigration system, these aren't the changes they want to see.
Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 3, 2017

Trump may find no easy targets if he attacks race in admissions

The nation’s long fight over affirmative action at colleges has flared back up with a report this week that the Trump administration’s Justice Department plans to go after race-conscious admissions policies. While colleges have good reason to be concerned about such news, the fears it has aroused in them may be exaggerated and somewhat misplaced.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Aug. 3, 2017

In Trump era, the use of race in admissions comes under new scrutiny

Donald Trump rarely spoke about higher education during his presidential campaign, which left many people wondering how he might deal with scores of campus issues. The picture became clearer Tuesday on one front: affirmative action in college admissions. According to an internal memo obtained by The New York Times, the Justice Department will begin redirecting resources to investigate, and potentially sue, colleges and universities over admissions decisions that are perceived as discriminating against white applicants. The Times reported that the department's new effort is likely to be run out of its front office, which is staffed by political appointees, rather than the part of the department staffed by career officials.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Aug. 2, 2017

DeVos shifts course again on loan servicing

The Department of Education plans to overhaul the procurement process for federal student loan servicing for the third time in the last year, officials announced Tuesday. It will scrap a plan Secretary Betsy DeVos unveiled in May to award servicing of all federal student loans to a single company. Instead, the department will award separate contracts for database housing, system processing and customer service functions to one or more companies possibly handling direct interactions with borrowers. The department plans to deliver, meanwhile, on creating a single web portal for borrowers to make payments on student loans regardless of their borrowers — a change promised by the Obama administration last year and long sought by student advocates.
Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 2, 2017

State argues it's fulfilling education responsibility

The attorney general's office says Washington state has fulfilled its constitutional requirement to properly fund education, and says the state Supreme Court should drop a contempt order against the state. In a court filing Monday, attorneys for the office of Attorney General Bob Ferguson wrote that "it is time for this case to end." The memo was filed to the high court alongside a bipartisan legislative report detailing the Legislature's progress this year on education funding.
Kitsap Sun, Aug. 1, 2017

Justice Dept. to take on affirmative action in college admissions

The Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants, according to a document obtained by The New York Times. The document, an internal announcement to the civil rights division, seeks current lawyers interested in working for a new project on “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.” The announcement suggests that the project will be run out of the division’s front office, where the Trump administration’s political appointees work, rather than its Educational Opportunities Section, which is run by career civil servants and normally handles work involving schools and universities.
New York Times, Aug. 1, 2017

Last Modified: 10/9/17 11:40 AM