Bill to Increase Higher Education Funding Gets Legislature Support

Garballey among many sponsors.

Representative Sean Garballey (D-Arlington and West Medford) is one of the sponsors of the Cherish Act, which aims to implement the key findings of the State Higher Education Finance Commission: investment state in public colleges and universities has declined significantly from a peak in fiscal 2001.

So far, 83 state officials and 29 state senators have approved the legislation.

With declining public investment in state colleges and universities, costs have shifted to students, as campuses are more easily subject to privatization, staff cuts, and the elimination of programs that support students. , according to a press release from Garballey’s office on June 29.

State Senator Jo Comerford (D-Northampton) is the bill’s main sponsor in the Senate, while Garballey and Rep. Paul Mark (D-Peru) are the main sponsors in the House.

“Equality, justice”

Garballey called the law “historic legislation” and said: “Our public higher education system has been in critical need of funding for too long. The Cherish Act is an investment in the youth of our Commonwealth and will provide hundreds of millions of much needed dollars to our colleges and universities over the next few years.

“Securing access to higher education is a matter of equity and justice, he said, adding that in Massachusetts, after adjusting for inflation and enrollment changes, State for public higher education fell by more than 26% between fiscal years 2001 and 2020.

Comerford said in the statement that the law “gives us a way to do better, and that is why a majority in the Legislature has now signed in favor of the bill.” Together, we can reinvest in the higher education we know is needed.

President of MTA Najimy

Massachusetts Teachers Association President Merrie Najimy said passage of the “Cherish Act: is a step for the legislature to take in dismantling structural racism in the form of divestment in public higher education. , just as lawmakers did when the Student Opportunity Act was passed.

“Students are taking on more and more debt to attend our public colleges and universities, these financial barriers being even more onerous for BIPOC students,” said Najimy. “The pandemic has made matters worse as we have witnessed an alarming drop in student enrollment at BIPOC, especially at our public community colleges. The state must act now to make public colleges fully accessible and staffed and resourced to meet the needs of a diverse student body. “

Mark said the act is vital to the general welfare of the state.

MTA Vice President Max Page said investing in public higher education is a critical way to deal with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Making higher education more accessible will strengthen our workforce and create more opportunities for people to earn higher incomes and improve their quality of life,” Page said. “Those who attend Massachusetts public colleges and universities tend to stay in the state, so spending on public higher education becomes a long-term investment in the quality of our communities. ”

August 20, 2020: Rogers and Garballey Secure Multi-Sector Funding for Arlington

This press announcement was made on Saturday July 3 2021.

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