To the editor:
On Oct. 10, voters will choose among four Democratic candidates for state representative in the 1st Berkshire District in a special primary election. We should choose a candidate who really understands the value of public higher education.
Strengthening public higher education is a key to strengthening the economy of the district. Strong public higher education provides opportunities for students in our commonwealth, and helps prepare students for 21st century careers. As the home to the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Berkshire Community College, we know that public higher education is also a major economic driver for our region.
Unfortunately, the Massachusetts legislature has cut state funding of higher education by 14 percent since 2001 and has slashed scholarship funding by 31 percent. As a result, Massachusetts now ranks 43rd in the nation, on a per capita basis, in its support for public higher education. Cutting state support of public higher education drives up tuition costs and drives up student debt.
Students who graduate from Massachusetts public institutions of higher education are more likely to stay, live and work here and to contribute their needed skills to our economy. Cuts to public higher education spending hurt our region in two ways: They weaken our region’s public higher education institutions; and they discourage our young people from staying in the area and contributing to our communities.
No one understands this better than Stephanie Bosley. After graduating from the North Adams public schools, Stephanie attended UMass-Amherst and went on to earn a masters in public affairs from UMass-Boston. Stephanie is knowledgeable about the benefits of, as well as the challenges to, public higher education. She is a public college graduate who has worked hard to make a positive difference in our region. She will continue to work hard to make a positive difference as the First Berkshire’s district’s state representative.
Stephanie Bosley will bring intelligence, boundless energy and a fresh perspective as the 1st Berkshire District’s state representative. That is why I am voting for her on Oct. 10 and Nov. 7.
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