Higher Ed Funding Legislation

About the Cherish Act

A 2014 report found that, accounting for inflation and changes in student enrollment, public higher education in Massachusetts has been cut by 31 percent since FY01. The same report found that the share of higher education costs borne by students and their families shifted dramatically over this same period, from approximately 30 percent in FY01 to approximately 55 percent in FY16.

The impacts of this chronic underfunding are keenly felt by both our students and our dedicated faculty and staff. The Cherish Act, filed by Sen. Jo Comerford (D-Northampton) and Reps. Sean Garballey (D-Arlington) and Paul Mark (D-Peru), would reaffirm the state’s commitment to public higher education by:

  • Implementing the core finding of the 2014 Higher Education Finance Commission, resulting in more than $500 million in additional funding for public higher education. These new funds must supplement — not supplant — existing funding.
  • Establishing in statute a fair and adequate minimum funding level for public higher education at no less than the FY01 per-student funding level, adjusted for inflation.
  • Freezing tuition and fees for five years, as long as the Legislature appropriates the funds required to reach FY01 per-student funding levels in five years.e report found that the share of higher education costs borne by students and their families shifted dramatically over this same period, from approximately 30 percent in FY01 to approximately 55 percent in FY16.