Press Release about Stimulus Announcement

PHENOM’s Response to Governor Patrick’s Announcement

of Stimulus Money for Public Higher Education

PHENOM applauds Governor Patrick’s announcement of $324 million in stimulus money for public higher education over the next two years.  PHENOM was active in lobbying to include funding of public higher education in the federal legislation, and has been informing campus and legislative leaders of the requirements of the law:  to prevent layoffs and tuition and fee increases.

“President Obama and Congress gave public higher education a lifeline when they created the federal stimulus bill,” said Max Page, member of PHENOM’s Executive Committee.  “We are pleased that the Governor has now announced the delivery of the funds just as intended by Congress.  We call on the Board of Trustees of UMass, and the Department of Higher Education to rescind fee hikes and announce that there will be no layoffs on our campuses.”

PHENOM agrees with the Governor that the stimulus monies are no panacea.  “We see these funds as providing a two-year lifeline, allowing Massachusetts to have the conversation the Governor has asked us to have: about the cost of civilization and how we will pay for it,” said Alex Kulenovic, PHENOM’s president.  “We believe that now, more than ever, we need a long-term commitment to rebuilding public higher education in Massachusetts, which has been underfunded for so many years.  High quality teaching and research, made affordable and accessible to all Massachusetts citizens, is the best investment we could make for our future.”

PHENOM will be rallying, marching and lobbying in Boston on April 8 to make sure the Legislature integrates these funds with the FY 2010 budget so that these goals are met, and begins planning how to raise revenues for when the stimulus funds expire.  At the same time, PHENOM is pursuing a specific legislative agenda for this year, including significant increases in need-based financial aid.  Please see the fact sheet for more information.

The April 8 Rally is scheduled for 10 AM at the Brewer Fountain in the Boston Common.