students walking out of building

Funding Challenges

For Pierce College, recent legislative budgets have required significant cuts and changes to operations. In the 2015-17 biennium, the legislature did not fully fund the authorized COLA increases for all state employees. Consequently, the college cut over $880,000 in services to make up for budget gaps from state funding.

The college has embarked on intensive initiatives designed to close achievement gaps and increase completion of degrees and certificates. These initiatives are resource intensive, and lack of funding will negatively impact our ability to further increase our graduation rates and close the achievement gaps among our students.

Puyallup

  • Pierce College Puyallup is in dire need of additional classroom space and modern STEM labs, as it is currently operating at 103 percent of its physical capacity.
  • Although the college submitted a request for a new 70,000-square-foot building, the lack of capital budget capacity for the community college system has halted the opening of any new building in Puyallup until the 2021-23 biennium at the earliest.
  • If Pierce College Puyallup’s current growth rate is cut in half, by 2023 there will be more than 700 additional full-time students to serve.
  • This is an untenable situation that can only be rectified by additional capital investment; otherwise, Pierce College risks the prospect of turning away students.

Fort Steilacoom 

  • For Pierce College, recent legislative budgets have required significant cuts and changes to operations. In the 2015-17 biennium, the college cut budgeted salaries and benefits by over $880,000 to make up for budget gaps from state funding.
  • The impact on students is magnified by the fact that the college has embarked on intensive initiatives designed to close achievement gaps and increase completion of degrees and certificates.
  • These initiatives, given the lack of additional funding from the state, must be internally funded from cuts to overall services.
  • For the 2015-17 biennium, the college self-imposed over $1.25 million in internal funding cuts in order to increase services in academic advising and other related student support programs.