State House failed to improve on Gov. Baker’s lowball budget.
The latest state budget proposal for 2017-2018 does nothing to prevent a tuition and fee increase on the 29 public community college, state university and UMass campuses next year. Proposals from Gov. Baker and the House Ways and Means Committee both underfund the colleges and universities by nearly $60 million for the next fiscal year.
The Massachusetts Legislature has cut state funding for public higher education by 31% per student since 2001, causing thousands of dollars in tuition and fee increases for working families who can least afford it. The Governor’s proposal and the House Ways & Means budget proposal would cause a tuition and fee hike at our 29 public college and university campuses.
Meanwhile, our neighbors in New York passed four years of tuition-free public college this week.
The House Ways & Means proposal underfunds UMass by over $25 million, the State Universities by over $18 million, and the Community Colleges by nearly $15 million.
“This budget proposal does nothing to help the students and families who are already struggling under the heavy burden of high fees and growing student debt at our public colleges,” said Zac Bears, PHENOM’s Executive Director. “We call on the full House and the State Senate to provide the funding our campuses have requested in order to freeze the high cost of college.”
“As the over 600 people who joined us at the State House on March 1st showed, our campuses are at a breaking point. The funding crisis fuels student debt, takes billions of dollars a year out of our economy, and breaks the state’s promise to provide affordable, accessible higher education to all people. We must do better. Students and families can’t afford anything less.”
But we can still change the conversation and keep making a difference!
First, use this tool (link) to email your legislators telling them yet another year of tuition and fee increases will hurt you, your family, and your campus.
Second, take a few extra minutes to give you legislators a phone call. It’s easy and they want to hear from you. Here’s a link to help you call your legislators.
Third, get on our email list and stay tuned for updates. We need your help to change minds on Beacon Hill.
We can try to amend the budget in the House, work on state senators to change the budget in the Senate, and fight to amend the final budget in a couple months.