Yesterday the House and Senate announced a compromise on the state’s 2018 supplemental operating and capital budgets.
The compromise operating budget includes $18.5 million in new funding for the State Need Grant program to serve an additional 4,600 students, along with a commitment to fully-fund the program over the next four years. The budget also includes $100,000 for the Student Achievement Council to establish a competitive grant program for the development of Open Educational Resources (OERs) as specified in House Bill 1561.
For Western, the operating budget includes $1.3 million to establish a new undergraduate degree program in Marine, Coastal and Watershed Sciences, as well as funding to develop an Early Childhood Education program in partnership with Olympic College as part of the Western on the Peninsulas program. The operating budget also directs WWU to conduct a study exploring the feasibility of creating a four-year degree granting campus on the Kitsap or Olympic Peninsula, with a report on the findings due to the Governor and the Legislature by December 2018.
The compromise supplemental capital budget includes $1.5 million in state bond funds to address minor works projects at Western.
The sixty-day 2018 Legislative Session is scheduled to conclude tonight at midnight.