The Senate Ways and Means Committee has proposed a budget for public higher education that falls far short of that passed by the House of Representatives. Most importantly, it does not fund our campuses at the levels needed to allow a freeze in student fees. Such a freeze was proposed by UMass President Caret and quickly agreed to by State University and Community College presidents – but it is dependent on funding levels incorporated in the House budget.
“State funding per student at my school has fallen by 30% over the last 10 years, and tuition and fees have doubled in that time, putting college out of reach for many. The House has given us a chance to reverse this trend, and we are asking the Senate to seize that opportunity,” said Nicole Villar Hernández, an undergraduate student at UMass Amherst.
Michael Moore, Senate Co-Chair of the Higher Education Committee, has filed amendments to increase the funding in the Senate budget to match the House. These amendments will be debated and voted on this week and are strongly supported by PHENOM.
“A tuition and fee freeze would be the most significant step to slow the rapidly rising cost of public higher education in Massachusetts in a decade,” said Ron Weisberger of the Division of Developmental Education at Bristol Community College.
PHENOM is asking all its supporters to contact their State Senators to urge support for all of Senator Moore’s and Senator Clark’s amendments, especially numbers 327, 359, 367 and 414.