BOSTON (WLWP) – The Cherish Act, now endorsed by every college president in Massachusetts aims to bring in more than $500 million for public higher education, and dozens of lawmakers have already vocalized their support for the proposal.
During a demonstration at the statehouse on Thursday, education advocates applauded state senators for passing the Student Opportunity Act. Through the newly approved plan, the state’s K-12 education system stands to see a $1.5 billion increase over the next seven years.
Now that the bill is headed to the House for consideration, education advocates said it’s time for lawmakers to consider funding the state’s public colleges.
“We need the student opportunity act passed, and passed now and then we need to move on to solve the same problem for public higher education, so let’s move on the Cherish Act and move on it soon,” Merrie Najimy said.
The average college student in Massachusetts has upwards of $30,000 in debt, preventing them from being able to buy homes or get married which financial experts say has a negative impact on the state’s economy.
“Our students should have the opportunity to not only get an excellent college education but to get it at an affordable price so that they can claim what’s rightfully theirs in a full life after college without the burden of massive debt,” Senator Comerford said.
This session, lawmakers are also working to boost trade programs for high school and college-aged students.
The Cherish Act is still in the education committee but it does have bipartisan support from more than 100 lawmakers.