Republicans continue drive to cut costs in higher education


Legislator: Rep. Jesse Young
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It'll be a big day Friday for lawmakers hearing bills on education.  Ruth Johnson reports from Olympia on a trio of measures scheduled for early morning public input.  All are designed to help students cut their overhead.

Johnson: Three young legislators at the statehouse have become a driving force in the effort to reduce the cost of textbooks by harnessing the power of the internet.

Jesse Young, a Republican from Gig Harbor is pushing for passage of a bill that would incentivize the private sector to make its proprietary educational materials available online, for use by colleges and universities.

Stambaugh: “It can be $20 for the resource versus $200 for a textbook.”

That's Representative Melanie Stambaugh, a Republican from Puyallup.  Her legislation would fund a pilot program that would provide grants to educators at four year colleges and universities.  Recipients would create curriculum centered on online and other open source materials.

Van Werven: “And one of my biggest concerns is the debt that college students end up with.  The amount of student debt that they leave college with will impact their future decisions.”

Johnson: Luanne Van Werven, a Republican from Lynden.  She's introduced a bill directed at community and technical colleges.  It would require them to list the cost of course materials during registration.

The goal of all three bills: to encourage educators and students to focus on on-line educational tools.  At a savings of millions of dollars.

Ruth Johnson, Olympia.

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