As employees of the Commonwealth and as faculty and librarians in public higher education, our working conditions and the learning conditions of our students are directly influenced by the support provided by the Commonwealth.
The 2019 Massachusetts State Budget is influential in determining those teaching and learning conditions. The House version of the budget was passed in April of this year and the Senate version was passed in May. The House budget level-funds contributions to higher education. Because of inflation, this amounts to a reduction in the funding to the state universities and will mean that individual schools must find ways to make up this revenue shortfall. The Senate budget, however, suggests a small increase of $16.5 million in direct funding for the community colleges, state universities, and UMass system. This would help our individual campuses to meet their financial needs and to provide quality education to our students. The Senate budget line items for the state universities will assist us significantly in supporting students and fulfilling our mission.
The budget now heads to the Conference Committee which is charged with reconciling the differences between these two budgets. It is expected that this work will be completed by mid-June. This means we need your help, now!!!
Please consider writing a short letter advocating for the Senate version of the budget with respect to funding higher education. In addition to your own State Senator and State Representative it would be useful to ask your legislators to speak with the Conference Committee members and the Speaker of the House and Senate President, or address a letter to them also.
You can find the names of your legislators here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator
Conference Committee Members:
- Karen Spilka (D), 2ndMiddlesex and Norfolk, Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov
- Joan Lovely (D), 2ndEssex, Joan.Lovely@masenate.gov
- Viriato deMacedo (R), Plymouth and Barnstable, Vinny.deMacedo@masenate.gov
Representatives (House) –
- Jeffrey Sanchez (D), 15thSuffolk, Jeffrey.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Stephen Kulik (D), 1stFranklin, Stephen.Kulik@mahouse.gov
- Todd Smola (R), 1stHampden, Todd.Smola@mahouse.gov
Speaker of the House – Robert DeLeo (D), 19th Suffolk, Robert.DeLeo@mahouse.gov
Senate President – Harriette Chandler (D), 1st Worcester, Harriette.Chandler@masenate.gov
Some important talking points you might consider including are:
- The state university system is essential to the civic and economic health of the Commonwealth. The majority of students educated in the state system will remain in Massachusetts. As such, their education will matter significantly to the long-term health of the Commonwealth.
- State funding to public higher education has been dropping consistently for almost 20 years. Per student funding from the state has declined 31% since 2001.
- Our students have shouldered much of the burden of this loss of funding through increased fees and a huge studentdebt load.
- Increased funding to public higher education will help individual campuses meet the needs of our students and provide high quality educational opportunities for the Commonwealth.
It’s always useful to include a little bit about yourself and your job.
Your voice is important and I hope you will consider sharing your views with our elected officials. If you choose to send a letter via email please do so from a non-university account, and send individual email to each legislator, don’t add all the legislators to a cc list.
Please bcc vicepresident@MSCAunion.org and let us know if you get a response, too.
Thank you Maria Hegbloom for creating this message.