Race to the Median at the State House

Students, faculty and staff from campuses across the state will be rallying for Public Higher Education on the Boston Common at 11 a.m. on Monday, March 8. The highlight of the Rally will be a “Race to the Median”, part of PHENOM’s campaign to bring state support for Public Higher Education up to the national average and student costs down to the national average.

Racers will theatrically demonstrate that Massachusetts is currently 46th of the 50 states in per capita funding for public higher education, but that if we all pull together, we can reach the median. We expect a tight race with runners from many different campuses competing.

No state has cut funding by more than Massachusetts (25.6%) in the past 5 years; community colleges have seen 10 - 20% increases in enrollment just this year; there are not enough full-time teachers; and students are being asked to pay more every year; this combination gravely jeopardizes economic growth in Massachusetts,” says Joe LeBlanc, professor at Northern Essex Community College and President of the Massachusetts Community College Council.

Speakers at the rally will include students, union leaders and community members. After the Rally and the Race to the Median, hundreds of PHENOM members will go inside the Statehouse to witness the historic launch of the Legislature’s Public Higher Education Caucus at 1 p.m. at the Grand Staircase.

All portions of the day’s events are open to the press.

From a media release. PHENOM, the Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts, is a statewide organization that unites students, staff, faculty, parents, alumni, and community organizations to fight for affordable, well-funded public colleges accessible to all. See www.phenomonline.org for more information.