Invest in the Schools and Colleges Our Communities Deserve
Massachusetts loves its public schools and colleges, but too many students are being left behind by inadequate state support. The MTA and its coalition partners are launching an ambitious campaign to win the funding that our students, educators and communities deserve by May 1, 2019.
The state would have to spend $574 million more a year to bring per pupil public higher education funding levels back to where they were in 2001. That’s roughly the same amount of additional funding recommended in 2014 by the Higher Education Finance Commission. Because of underfunding student debt has skyrocketed, class sizes have ballooned, too many full-time faculty have been replaced by poorly paid adjuncts, and services are being outsourced.
So many Massachusetts families rely on our public colleges and universities, yet we continue to drastically underfund them.
The facts speak for themselves:
- The state is underfunding public colleges and universities by more than $500 million a year.
- Student debt has skyrocketed.
- Too many full-time faculty have been replaced by poorly paid adjuncts, and staff have been asked to do more with less. Vital student and support services have been decimated.
Public higher ed deserves a foundation budget that guarantees students a high-quality, debt-free education.
That's how much the state is underfunding the Commonwealth's public colleges and universities.
The campaign begins with members talking with one another and residents of their communities about the public schools and colleges they want. Activities include holding forums, member meetings and house parties at which educators, students, parents and other community residents share their vision and ideas.
Raise Some Hell
Policymakers must feel the heat. Members are strongly encouraged to develop their own actions. Statewide efforts will include asking members across Massachusetts to urge their local School Committees and public higher education Boards of Trustees to approve resolutions calling for more funding, distributing leaflets at public events and using social media to advocate for funding initiatives.
Guaranteeing the resources our students and communities deserve will ultimately require new revenues. We will be urging members to join local and statewide actions to win passage of progressive revenue measures, either in the State House or – if necessary – on the ballot.