Washington colleges, universities brace for big budget hitSEATTLE (AP) — Washington’s public colleges and universities are preparing for large budget because of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The Seattle Times reports the state is expected to slash funding, since higher education dollars aren’t protected by the state constitution in the same way K-12 dollars are. With the coronavirus pandemic expanding this spring, universities lost hundreds of millions in residence hall rents, meal plans, parking fees and sports tickets when schools closed their campuses. During the 2008 recession, higher education institutions were among the hardest-hit state agencies. State funding per student declined by about 35 percent in Washington between 2007 and 2012.