College is pretty cool in any and all flavors… two year, two + two years, four years, after-work classes. The two year school flavor is pretty delicious as many of y’all Bus riders know. You can take all kindsa classes pretty much any hour of the day or night and you can do all the other stuff you got/want to do… work, do art, volunteer for the Bus… right? The four year school flavor involves partying all the time. Like this Bus conductor shouts at prospective students: “No more parents! Pizza every night!” Well, not really. It’s not like Asher Roth (ugh) would have you believe… really it’s about the classes. Really, both are ultimately about expanding your knowlege and skills while learning how to think and communicate. And if you manage to pick up some mentors and good friends on the way that’s gravy.
more below the break
But of course we don’t have to sell you on education. And you knew that our public universities, colleges, and community colleges are a really freakin good deal. Like, an absurdly good deal. That’s because the state pitches in a ton of the cash. Our tax dollars hard at work: hell yes. To the Bus’s thinking, it’s hard to spend that money in a better way.
So that’s why we’re really worried about the coming BUDGETPOCALYPSE. The state is facing a huge huge huge (did we mention it’s huge huge?) shortfall- $1.6 BILLION-* in coming years- there will be more on that general issue in this space in the coming days-** which, under Governor Gregoire’s supplemental budget plan, would rear its ugly head in (among other things) the form of a 23% cut to ALL state higher education spending.
So what’s the Bus doing about it? Great question, reader! We’re doing a bunch of things. First, we’re going to track any and all budget proposals. Second, we’re going to keep you informed on the budget process- we’re going to Olympia on Monday to talk to legislators and get their opinions and positions back to y’all. Third, we’re going to let YOU! talk to them via THE VIDEO INTERWEBS at the totally rad, “HIP-HOP ARTIST”-featuring Parliament which will be on next Thursday, January 14 at the very very Vera Project and Olympia in a Can, which as you know is on January 27 at the Grey Gallery (and, as the name would suggest, you can enjoy liquid refreshment if you’re 21+). Fourth, we’re asking you to pitch in: you can (electronically!) sign this here petition created by the friendly folks at Fuse Washington to remind the Governor and Legislature this this is kind of a big deal.
In the meantime, keep reading Hella Bus for more updates and, if the mood strikes you, call or write your legislator with questions and concerns about higher education cuts.
* schmudget (see below**) helpfully notes that this is on top of $3.5 billion in recent in the current budget and a ton of money that da Feds are covering for us.
**Those of you who are interested are encouraged to check out the excellent schmudget blog, run by the Washington State Budget and Policy Center.