MTA seeks pro-education budget amendments

MTA members are being asked to reach out to their state representatives and urge them to support legislative amendments that would help improve the proposed House Ways and Means Committee budget for the sake of Massachusetts students and families.

Contact Your Representatives!

The committee’s proposal, released on April 11, calls for level-funding for the state’s community colleges, state universities and UMass and seeks nearly a $1 million cut in scholarships for students. The MTA is actively pursuing amendments to increase funding for the higher education system, as well as for scholarships, by 5 percent. Funding for public colleges and universities has been cut drastically in recent years, and the money is needed to ensure both quality and affordability for students.

The Ways and Means budget also includes an alternative to Governor Deval Patrick’s plan to reorganize the state’s community college system. The MTA is supporting efforts to give faculty and staff a seat at the table and a strong voice in decisions about the mission and future of all 15 community colleges in the Commonwealth.

The committee’s $32.3 billion spending plan covers the upcoming fiscal year, which begins on July 1. It includes $4.15 billion in Chapter 70 state aid for K-12 education, which represents a $164 million increase in funding over the current fiscal year. Broken down, this would provide every public school district with an increase of at least $40 per student.

Click here to send a message to your state representative urging him or her to support all the MTA-backed amendments. They include:

  • A proposed 5 percent increase in state funding for public higher education: Amendment 814, filed by Representative Sean Garballey (D-Arlington).
  • A proposed 5 percent increase in state funding for scholarships for students: Amendment 663, filed by Representative Tom Sannicandro (D-Ashland), co-chair of the Joint Committee on Higher Education.
  • A proposal to provide a seat at the table and a strong voice for MTA higher education members in decisions about the future of the state’s community colleges: Amendment 440, filed by Representative Martin Walsh (D-Boston).
  • A call for providing funding through the Gateway Cities initiative, which is aimed at closing the student achievement gap in many urban school districts: Amendment 471, filed by Representative Tony Cabral (D-New Bedford).
  • Proposed funding for a labor-management collaborative focused on improving student achievement: Amendments 311 and 315, filed by Representative Cheryl Coakley-Rivera (D-Springfield).
  • A proposal to adopt language specifying the mission of the state’s 15 community colleges and include it in state law: Amendment 734, filed by Representative Sannicandro.
  • A proposal to clarify the funding formula for community colleges: Amendment 473, filed by Representative Sannicandro.
    Debate on the Ways and Means Committee budget will begin during the week of April 23.

House Ways and Means Budget