Tuesday, October 08, 2013

GET Program - Now Back on Track

Remember how Senator Rodney Tom was telling everyone who would listen what a bad idea it was for the state to continue the GET program (buying prepaid units of college tuition)?   He said, "We don't need to be in that business."  And the Legislature was thinking of getting rid of it despite its popularity?

As Goldy at The Stranger Slog says, So had we shut down GET last session, we would have shut it down for absolutely nothing.

The Times is reporting that it's back on "good financial footing."  It was given an "A" rating for soundness from the state actuary and the committee that oversees GET.   The actuary says that "if all assumptions are realized and the program remains open" then GET will be fully funded by 2018."

The reasoning for this change is that the Legislature voted to freeze tuition at our state's colleges and universities and an improving stock market.  This makes sense because GET is not a low-cost way to buy tuition and, as one reader at The Stranger Slog puts it, "it's not an investment so much as it is an inflation hedge.

GET is one way for middle-class families to stay in the game and save for college.  But it's not cheap - one unit is now $172.  Enrollment reopens on Nov. 1.

What this all circles back to is what we constantly harp on here - funding education.  The colleges and universities would NOT have raise those tuition rates as sharply as they have if our state committed to funding K-12 and higher ed. 

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