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The Public Higher Ed. Funding Crisis: Contact Representatives THIS WEEK – Support Community Colleges

March 12th, 2013 Comments off

Thanks to all who participated in the Public Higher Ed. Advocacy Day last week. More than 600 students, faculty, staff, and administrators met with legislators to highlight the key challenges faced by colleges and universities across this state. Educators and students shared their concerns regarding affordability, access, and the related resources needed for student success.  They spoke out against the chronic and substantial underfunding that has plagued our campuses for more than a decade. Now, it’s time for all educators to communicate a similar message to their State Representatives.

Contact your State Representative this week: Speak out for community colleges
Currently, the MA State Budget is being crafted by our State Representatives. The House will release its preliminary  budget  during the week of April 8th. It is important that you let your Representative (not Senator) know this week that you support additional state revenues. Only then will our colleges be funded adequately and students be served effectively.
The message to Representatives:  Increase state funding; dedicate revenue to Community Colleges
  1. The Commonwealth needs to reinvest in higher education. Educated citizens and a well-prepared workforce  increase productivity and fuel the state’s economy.
  2. Note these concerns:
  • Massachusetts state funding for public higher education is among the lowest in the country, while tuition and fees are among the highest.
  • Funding for public higher education is down by 31 percent since FY01, despite a dramatic increase in enrollment. Academic support services have not kept pace with the  increased enrollment. An over-reliance on non-benefited, part-time faculty and professional staff has further challenged the effectiveness of our community colleges in particular. Our institutions are being asked to do more with less.
  • As state support for our colleges has plummeted, (MA continues to rank among the lowest in the nation in per capita funding for public higher ed.), students and their families are being priced out of an education or saddled with debt in order to attend our public colleges.
   3. Ask Representatives to support new revenues to fund our schools and communities. Currently, the MTA and the MCCC support raising revenues for the Commonwealth in any way that is fair and substantial.  Two current revenue proposals meet these criteria. Each would raise about $2 billion dollars.
    • Governor Patrick’s budget proposal would increase taxes and target new funds for education and transportation.
    • The Campaign for Our Communities’ legislative proposal would support revenues that would serve public education, transportation and our communities through an increase in the income tax. It would also increase the personal exemption to reduce the impact on low- and middle-income families and seniors.

Contacting Representatives:

Representatives need to hear  your message this week. Legislators have indicated that few constituents are contacting them to ask for either increased revenues or increased support for public higher education. They have received more calls from constituents that ask them not to raise revenues at all. Let’s turn that around. Please take action today.
In solidarity,
Donnie
Diana (Donnie) McGee
MCCC Vice President & SAC Chair
MTA Board of Directors
Email: vice-president@mccc-union.org
Cell: 508-415-1513

SPEAK OUT IN SUPPORT OF PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION!

March 1st, 2013 Comments off

 

SPEAK OUT IN SUPPORT OF PUBLIC
HIGHER EDUCATION!

Massachusetts’ state funding for public higher education is among the lowest in the country, while tuition and fees are among the highest.THAT’S NOT ACCEPTABLE.We need to do all we can to ensure that our Commonwealth continues to be a great place to live, work and raise a family – and that includes maintaining excellent public colleges and universities.Please join us on Tuesday, March 5, and urge your legislators to support new revenues for public colleges and universities in Massachusetts.

Governor Deval Patrick will speak at the 10 a.m. rally in Gardner Auditorium. After the rally, meet with your own legislators to let them know how chronic underfunding of public higher education has affected your work and your students.

 

9-10 a.m.     MTA members please come to the fifth floor of the MTA building at 20 Ashburton Place to pick up materials.10 a.m.        Gardner Auditorium followed by legislative meetings


To register, visit:

http:massteacher.org/higheredadvocacyday2013