Please to receive this letter acknowledging our strong commitment to higher education funding in this year's state budget. As a result college students attending UMass or any state college will not see any tuition OR fee hike this coming year. Some welcome relief for students and parents.
On behalf of the Massachusetts State University Council of Presidents, the nine State University campuses and our 52,000 students, I write today to extend my deepest appreciation to you for championing the historic investment made in our State University system during the FY14 budget deliberations. As a result of your leadership, the State Universities are able to freeze tuition and institutional fees for the upcoming 2013-2014 academic year. The additional $15m in our system is an important first step towards an equitable funding of Massachusetts’ institutions of public higher education, and will significantly benefit our students and their families.
This investment and our commitment to freeze our institutional fees will expand student access at a time of growing demand for a State University education. It will help our students graduate with a great education and less debt, while providing expanded opportunities for employment and growth. This investment in the State University system is good for our economy, good for our Commonwealth and great for our students and their families.
The additional $15m in the State University system moves us closer to the goal of the state funding 50 percent of the cost of educating our students, and will enable the system to continue to remain competitive, accessible and affordable to residents of the Commonwealth. In providing this additional funding during a time of continued fiscal constraints, you have recognized the State Universities’ critical role in the Massachusetts economy. Your State University system graduates more than 10,000 students each year, and more than 85 percent of our graduates remain in the Commonwealth to live, work and raise their families. Ninety percent of our graduates are working or continuing postgraduate education within one year of graduation. State University graduates are your public school teachers, police officers, nurses, social workers, white-collar professionals and more; they are helping to drive our Massachusetts economy and make the Commonwealth what it is today.
We again extend to you our sincere thanks for your renewed commitment in the State University system and for helping us to provide the strongest possible system of public higher education for the residents of Massachusetts. We look forward to continuing to work together to build upon this historic investment and to make our public universities the best and most affordable universities in the country.
Vincent A. Pedone
State University Council of Presidents
Congrats to South Shore Vo-Tech School on its 50th anniversary delivering top notch vocational education to South Shore students. Rep. Nyman and I were pleased to present this resolution on behalf of the entire South Shore delegation to SSVT School Committee chairman John Manning.
BOSTON – State Representatives Geoff Diehl (R – Whitman) and Josh Cutler (D – Duxbury) were pleased to join Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray and Administration and Finance Secretary Glen Shor to announce the award of $1.1 million in grants to vocational school districts in order to purchase new equipment. The program will run for 5 years, awarding $1 million per year.
The 25 recipients of FY 2013 Vocational School Equipment grants include 184 cities and towns across Massachusetts. South Shore Vocational was awarded $32,500 for the purchase of engineering equipment.
“In Massachusetts, we offer only about one half of the slots for vocational education that are offered in most other developed countries, which has been a contributing factor to our global achievement gap. Many “VocTech” students have a high propensity to earn graduate degrees in the critical Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields, something also lacking in our state,” Diehl noted. “With a renewed focus on STEM education in Massachusetts, these equipment grants come at a critical time and I am proud of South Shore Vo. Tech. and its talented students for applying, and winning, this grant that will help to expand its engineering programs”.
The grant program often requires local or private sector matches, and the first round of funding leveraged $1.9 million in matching funds, or $1.67 for every state tax dollar invested. A&F received 165 applications from 82% of all schools in the Commonwealth with Chapter 74 vocational programs.
“Kudos to Superintendent Tom Hickey and the entire staff at South Shore Vo-Tech for this award, part of a highly competitive grant process,” added Rep. Cutler. “These funds will help our engineering students stay current and develop critical job skills they’ll need to prosper in a competitive economy”.
Congrats to South Shore Vo-Tech School for earning a competitive grant from the Commonwealth’s Capital Plan for equipment upgrades. SSVT serves students in Hanson and many surrounding towns. They were one of just 25 technical programs in the state to earn the grant.
Great talk this evening at Hanson Town Hall with State Auditor Suzanne Bump. We had nearly every town board represented plus visitors from neighboring towns. Our discussion focused on unfunded mandates and how they are determined, especially those impacting our schools. We also learned about how state stormwater management regulations are putting a financial squeeze on cities and towns. Tomorrow our office will be sending out a letter to formally request a Local Mandate determination on that issue. Many thanks to Auditor Bump for coming down and spending time with us and also to my co-host Rep. Geoff Diehl.