SEATTLE (AP) — To improve higher education, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee wants a state-backed student loan capped at a 3 percent interest rate, expand online courses to aid people who dropped out of college and increase partnerships with the state’s premier private colleges.

But like Republican candidate Rob McKenna, Inslee’s plan doesn’t too many details on how to fund his ideas.

Spokeswoman Jamie Smith says that his plan is about “holding the line” on further cuts.

Inslee released his plan on Tuesday, moments before he debated McKenna for the first time. Both men agreed on the need to spend more money on higher education to reduce tuition costs to students.

State funding to higher education has been cut by nearly 50 percent over the past four years.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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