In our opinion: Keep your promise to students

As we reported last week, the Washington Scholars program scholarship, awarded to three Central Kitsap students – with one alternate – will not likely be funded this year.

The purpose of the merit scholarship is to steer the best and brightest away from the Ivy League and to keep their brains here at home by offering them full-ride scholarships. In other words, it’s a reward for hard work, but we get something in return.

As the theory goes, as the students go about being students, they will make contacts, find internships and eventually land jobs in the state.

It makes sense, especially when considering how much brainy enterprise we have here, from software and aerospace to biotech to one of the most vibrant cultural centers in the country.

But, again, Olympia isn’t afraid to break a few promises in order to make an omelet. But all cuts are not equal, at least in the volume of outrage they generate.

When one cuts public employees, from bureaucrats to cops to teachers, prepare for a hue and a cry.

When one attempts to cut tax breaks to businesses, prepare for an army of lobbyists to unleash the terrors of hell.

But cut ways for students to pay for higher education and barely a mew is uttered. Now, even worse, Olympia is going to allow university bureaucrats to set tuition. Expect it to go up even higher than it is right now.

With student loans rising faster credit card debt, and likely to pass the $1 trillion mark this year, as the New York Times reported, cutting higher education funding is one more way our society is ensuring generations to come will be saddled with debt.

And going back on a promise to kids who did what was asked of them must make one wonder about society’s priorities.

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