As the world becomes more interconnected, investing in education has become crucial for remaining competitive in the global economy. It is important for us to continue these efforts especially in an economic downturn. Along with basic education, college or university degrees have become more important than ever for those looking to enter tomorrow's workforce. Investments in education pay huge dividends. The Office of the State Treasurer is committed to supporting the long-term needs of education.
One of the State Treasurer's primary responsibilities is to sell bonds to pay for K-12 school and university campus construction. Over the next biennium, the Office of the State Treasurer will sell $612 million in bonds for K-12 school construction. This investment will help school districts across the state build or renovate facilities. Washington State will also put on the market $577 million in bonds for the state's four-year universities and community and technical colleges. Construction of engineering classrooms, health science laboratories, and vocational training centers will expand the potential research and instruction that Washington State provides.
OST also administers the School Bond Guarantee Program. This program provides savings to state taxpayers by pledging the full faith and credit of the state of Washington to the payment of voter-approved school district general obligation bonds. Washington voters passed the constitutional amendment in November 1999. More information about the School Bond Guarantee Program.
The upheaval in the global market place over this past year has impacted just about everyone. Now, more than ever, Washington residents are interested in expanding their financial literacy. Whether balancing the family checkbook, purchasing a car, comparing retirement plans, or thinking about buying a home, people need tools to help them make informed choices. There are many excellent resources available to answer your questions. The Office of the State Treasurer has put together a directory of federal, state, and nonprofit agencies prepared to assist you with answers about credit card interest rates, retirement planning, and starting your own business. Click on the Personal Finance page to see our list of online resources that will assist you in managing debt, developing a budget, or rebuilding your credit.
Though the cost of higher education has risen steadily over the past decade, the GET Program helps families save for the future by investing in their children's education today. The GET Program helps to sustain college affordability in the long term and preserve opportunity for the next generation. GET is Washington's 529 prepaid college tuition program. The value of your account is guaranteed by the state to keep pace with rising tuition costs and can be used at nearly every public or private college in the country. The value of your account remains the same whether your child attends one of Washington's public universities or a private or out-of-state college. And if your child decides not to go to college or receives a scholarship, you can transfer your account to another family member or simply request a refund. You maintain total control over your account. You can open an account for anyone - your child, grandchild, friend or even yourself as long as either the account owner or the student is a Washington resident at the time of enrollment in GET. Learn more about the GET program.