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.
- The Commonwealth needs to reinvest in higher education. Educated citizens and a well-prepared workforce increase productivity and fuel the state’s economy.
- 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.
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.
- To find out who your State Representative is, go to: www.wheredoivotema.com
- To reach your representative by phone, call the main State House number (617-722-2000) and ask to be connected to your legislator.
- To send an email to your representative, go to: http://www.mass.gov/legis/
MCCC Vice President & SAC Chair
MTA Board of Directors